Fabulyss Fitlife- Day #18 and the Fast Metabolism

It’s a BEAUTIFUL DAY to be motivated, inspired and kick some serious ass!
Mondays are a great day for a fresh start.  It’s the beginning of the week, you have just hopefully had an amazing night of quality sleep and you are up and at em like a hungry beast!
Make sure you have a SOLID breakfast this morning.  Take a second to reflect on everything you HAVE and everything that you are grateful for.  THINK about your goals for the day.  What do you want to accomplish?  Write them down if you have to!  Do ONE thing today that will get you one step closer to your goal!  Not even just physically.  Do something that will emotionally, financially, technically, virtually, unstoppablly (did I just make up a new word?!) get you to your goals you have set for yourself.  It’s not going to happen overnight BUT, if you do ONE thing every single day that gets you one step closer… you’ll get there a HELL of a lot faster than someone who just sits and WAITS for it to come to them.
As a coach and a trainer I very much value “practicing what I preach” so to speak.  If I ask something of someone I am working with, I need to be able to do the exact same thing or have done the same thing in the past.  How can I support someone through anything if I have never seen it or done it myself and can encourage them on the journey?  Health, Wellness, Fitness is not a one size fits all selection.  Everyone is different, bodies are different and respond differently to different plans and lifestyles.  That is what I love most about the lifestyle…there are ENDLESS options, answers and possibilities.
There have been a few times where the 28 Day Fast Metabolism Diet has come up in conversation over the past few months and Mama Bear has been participating in this lifestyle for the past few weeks with great success!  I LOVE working with women who are around the same age as my mom and who are going through menopause or have just gone through menopause.  This is an amazing time in someones life when hormones are changing, your body is changing and you get to recreate a whole new lifestyle to support that!  Not just that, but in conversations with the general public, people seem to think that the MORE you deprive yourself of food, the most success you will have losing weight and “getting healthy”.  I can’t disagree with this MORE.  You NEED food, you NEED fuel and your body NEEDs the nutrients to function and survive.  I have decided for the next 30 days to give this lifestyle a try and see for myself how this plan works!  The reviews are all very positive and the creator; Haylie Pomroy is well respected in the wellness industry.  She comes from an agricultural background and the lifestyle is based off of how foods can heal what we do to our bodies when we diet for too hard and for too long.  This plan in intended to repair metabolic damage that can occur when we deprive our bodies for too long and the damage that happens to our thyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands and metabolism.
I have exactly FOUR weeks until my prep starts for the October 29th show date!  WHOOP WHOOP (oh yeah, I chose an October show!  WHEE!) This is a great time to get my body fully nourished, my metabolism racing and diet cleaned up to be fully prepared for that #preplife.
The diet is broken down into phases
Phase ONE
Consists of 5 small meals per day of; grains, fruits, veggies and proteins
Phase TWO
5 small meals per day of protein and veggies
5 small meals per day of; fruit, protein, healthy fats, grain and veggies
Caffeine, artificial sweetners, processed foods, processed condiments and sugars are removed from this plan and wholesome, nutrient dense foods are encouraged and listed for each category.
We are going to be eating things like; steel cut oats, quinoa, chicken, fish, avocado, almonds, spinach, kale, cucumbers, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, apple cider vinegar, stone ground mustard and BERRIES (I’m so excited I could piddle).  I have made just a FEW modifications for my own personal plan knowing that my body requires additional protein.  During phase one, I have added one serving of protein with each meal.  While meals are determined to have one serving of a grain and one serving of a fruit, I know that I need the protein so for these meals I will select EITHER a grain or a fruit and have that with my protein selection.  For snacks that are designated as fruit, I will keep these as-is and include an additional protein snack for pre and post workout.
My workouts are going to remain the same to the plan I created for myself and mentioned in a previous post.  Three day split, each body part worked twice per week, mixture between heavy lifts and high-volume lifts and different lifting techniques sprinkled on top.  I also am doing varied forms of cardio each day; HIIT, Tabata, Group Fitness Classes, Treadmill, Stationary Bike, Stairmill, Swimming…you name it… i’ll try it!  We do happily accept requests if there is a form of cardio you are scared of trying and would like for me to test run for you!
Here is where I am physically at the start of this plan.  We have 30 days…let’s see how fast we can get this metabolism going and see if we can race it all the way to the stage!

Fabulyss Fitlife- Day #10 and the cardio dance class

There is never a dull moment in a Fabulyss Fitlife!

I’ve been at Equinox doing the new employee orientation (since I can’t start working with clients until I go through the process and I can’t start making money until I take on clients… DAMN IT)

I am also in the process of working with the special man in my life to convert my home garage into a home gym so that I can also train clients out of my house as well.

Not only that but I am working on a NEW project that I am keeping top secret for now since it is still in the embryo phase of it’s life.  You know when it’s still too early to SAY you’re pregnant because it’s too early but you are SO excited that you want to tell the whole world and are going to BURST out of all of your holes if you don’t tell someone soon??? THAT feeling!  I can’t tell you… BUT… if it works… if we make it work… it could be seriously EPIC!  STAY TUNED!


Training has been going really well these weeks:

I had legs on Friday (this is the first time in my training that I can actually DO squats.  The fissures are still there but not AS numbingly horrible as they were before)

Leg day starts with a warm up 3-4 sets of 20 to get everything warm.  This workout was 3 sets of 20 reps for everything

Leg Press (2 plates on each side)  superset with Dumbbell walking lunges

Barbell Squats (at 135) Superset with curtsey lunges with plate

Cable pull throughs superset with leg extentensions

Laying Leg Curls (with iso hold) superset sumo squats

Glute Kick Backs superset adductors

Seated Calf Raise superset standing calf raise

Today (Sunday, May 15th) was BACK ATTACK (I really want to chisel definition into my back before the next show)

Warm Up 4 x 10 seated cable row at 80 lbs

This workout was moderate weight and high volume 4 x 20 for each superset

Wide Grip pull-down behind head superset heavy pull down in front

Assisted Pullup superset seated rows underhand grip

One sided lat pull down with squeeze superset pull overs

Kayak Rows superset cable pullovers

Deadlifts (@135) I did 5 x 8 on these

Good Mornings superset Bent over BB rows

Shrugs until failure

This week cardio was:

30 minutes of Steady state on the stairs (level 9 the whole time)

Sprints on the treadmill (30 seconds full-on balls to the wall sprinting and 1 minute walking) for 30 minutes

I took a cardio dance class called WERQ (this is specific to Equinox but WORTH IT if you can get to a class).  Below is the website!  What a BLAST!  It’s not quite Zumba where you follow the instructor and don’t quite get the move right until they change the move…you know what I am talking about!  You follow the instructor to popular food-tapping beats you hear on the radio that you end up dancing to in your car but can never quite get a beat down when you hear them at a bar.  This class gives you some great options that you can use in everyday “dance” opportunities.  I mean really, who doesn’t love the chance to dance like a fool in public… right??  RIGHT???

We were doing body rolls, jump steps, I have NO idea what these moves were called but I’ll tell you what…I felt SEXY doing them.  Not only that but EVERY single age, color, gender and body type was accounted for in this class.  EVERYONE was having a blast and everyone was able to follow the moves.


I’m a big fan of doing all different classes- Zumba, Step, Cardio Kick-Boxing.


Let me know what kind of cardio classes you want me to try and I’ll give you the feedback!


This week’s meal preps consist of the following:

Hard Boiled Eggs

Rotisserie Chicken, Shredded Adobe Chicken in the Crock Pot.  I also baked chicken with garlic puree (I’ve been making garlic puree a LOT lately and putting it into mason jars for when I cook).

I pulverize garlic cloves in the blender by pulsing, then add a 2 TBSP of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.  Once it is bitzed, I put it into a mason jar and in the fridge.


Green Beans and Shredded Cabbage/Kale Mixture

Baked Cod with Lime and Cayenne Pepper

I started eating Nitrate free deli turkey with cucumber slices for snacks in between meals and I am LOVING that snack!

At night, If I’m having a sweet tooth, I have been making egg bread.  This bread has been AMAZING for my sweet tooth.

Separate 7 eggs (whites in a bowl and yokes in a cup)

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks and add one scoop of protein powder (I’ve been using cinnamon bun protein powder)

In the yolks add 1 TBSP of honey and 1-2 packets of stevia.  I also add a splash of vanilla.  Fold yolks into the whites and protein powder and blend until JUST combined.  Put into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


I haven’t been as ON TOP of my protein shakes as I should since needing to up my protein intake, so this week that will be my focus.  I am also starting a liver detox this week.  (With the fissures comes horrible, mind boggling pain, with that pain comes the use of narcotic pain killers…with those comes the unneeded toxic chemicals that make up those painkillers into my body.  I HATE taking medication if my body doesn’t need it.  The painkillers make me feel tired and drowsy and of course, being my spunky, goofy, energetic self.. I HATE feeling less than overly, annoyingly excited and energetic.  This week I am going to detox my body of those pain killers and go back to the natural way of pain management.  I’m going to keep doing my sitz baths during the day, marijuana as needed at nights before bed when the pain is the worst and INTENSE distraction by staying as busy as possible so I don’t think about it.  *FINGERS CROSSED* this will be the answer!


Stay tuned… it’s a Fabulyss Fitlife and I want to share it with you!


P.S. Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday!  HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY PAPA BEAR!!! I love you SO much and miss you more than you know.  (some of you may know but my father suffers from the last stages of Alzheimer’s.)





Have you ever had one of those days where the ENTIRE day feels like a dream?? You have to keep reminding yourself to REMEMBER every single moment happening that day.  You can’t seen to take enough pictures, you want to soak in everything and as the day goes by you desperately try to figure out how you can invent something to freeze time in the next hour!

Let’s rewind shall we?

In August, I sent an email to Bodybuilding.com to their Transformation division telling them about my story and asking if there was anyone I could talk to about sharing my story on the website.  I have been an active bodybuilding.comer since 2012 and figured I couldn’t lose anything by at least asking right?  The worst they could say is “NO”.  Well actually, the worst they could say is, “How dare you email us asking such a ridiculous request!  You’re BANNED FROM THE SITE AND ANY BODYBUILDING SHOWS IN THE FUTURE.”  Luckily, they didn’t say that so yay! In September, I got an email from one of their writers saying that she found my page and wanted to do an interview with me for a “Transformation of the Month” feature!  AH!  I was SO beyond excited!!

She called me later that week and we had a phone interview where I told her about my journey and experience losing weight and competing.  She asked some great questions and then that was it!  I sent a bunch of photos and asked when the article would run.  She told me it would take about a month or so to write it, edit it, have it approved and then appear on the site.

After a month, I didn’t see anything on the site and decided to reach back out to her and see if she had an idea on timing for the article.  She told me it was being edited and should be another few weeks.  (I’m not very good at waiting).  A few weeks later, I reached out again and got a similar response.  By the time January rolled around there was still no article and no follow up from bodybuilding.com.  I figured maybe they found someone else’s transformation story to run and decided I would just keep badgering them until they run my story!  (subtle right?!)

In February I missed a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize (okay I didn’t miss the call so much as screen the call).  The message beeper beeped and I listed to the voicemail:

Bodybuilding.com was calling ME to let me know that they wanted to do a VIDEO feature about my transformation story and asked if I would be available to come to Boise where their corporate office is for a few days to film?  They would also like to fly out someone very important in my life who has been with me through the process that they can incorporate into the video.

UHM…. WHAT?!??! I had been in my office at the hotel when I listed to the voicemail so I RAN outside and screamed and jumped up and down like a little kid!  *HAPPY DANCE* *HAPPY DANCE*  (followed by a little bit more screaming and a few tears).

I called back and the production manager asked if I would be available towards the end of March.

WOULD I BE AVAILABLE?!  I would run naked across the country if I needed to to MAKE myself available! (I’m not sure how it would come to that but hey, I’ll do whatever it takes people!)

Of course I brought my beautiful mommy with me!  Timing also worked out perfectly that I had quit my job already and would be job-free during that time!

The end of March, mom and I flew out to Boise where we met Jordan Grahm and his girlfriend.  They were also doing a story on Jordan who lost a TON of weight as well and now competes in powerlifting.

This was waiting for us when we walked into the lobby of the building


I piddled a little when I saw my photo on the wall of Bodybuilding.com

The office is AMAZING!  The staff is so incredibly nice and welcoming and EVERYONE hugged us and said how great it was to meet me and they kept saying how excited THEY were to meet ME!  I was in SHOCK!!  ME???? are you kidding?? I’M EXCITED TO MEET YOU ALL!!!!

They met us with a custom made bag filled with tons of swag and goodies.  They drove us around in the bodybuilding.com hummer which was totally badass and made me feel KIND of like a bodybuilding superhero! Jordan had a full day of filming first and then I had my filming day after him.  The day that he was filming, the Director of Marketing invited me to his office and when I walked in who is sitting there?!?!




This woman is seriously the FIRST fit chick I started following when I decided to compete!  Not only is she absolutely stunning but she is a total SHE-BEAST in the gym!  I was SHOCKED when she jumped up to surprise me!  We got to work out with her and we all went to dinner together!  She was so unbelievably sweet and SO FUN!  She answered all of my silly questions and was so open and honest about her own journey.

When we were getting ready to lift she goes, “you have a big responsibility now to share your journey and experience with others.  People look up to you and it’s up to you to help inspire others.”

That right there was just another confirmation that I’m doing EXACTLY what I was born to do!

The day of filming was an absolute dream!  Obviously, being in theater for so many years I’m RIGHT at home when I am performing and loved the filming process.  We got our makeup did, we took some B-Roll shots, I got to change costumes, we hung out with the camera crew (who were all freaking hilarious).

The filming part for mom and I was very emotional.  We talked about my history,  my emotional ups and downs and the impact this experience has had on her as my mom and my family.






After filming was time to head home.  The whole experience went by WAY too fast!  I loved every second of it!







I’m not 100% sure when the feature will be coming out on the site but I JUST sent the team some more videos and photos of me as a chunky monkey kid.

The experience was so surreal.  I STILL can’t believe that this was an opportunity for me.  Five years ago, if you would have told me that I was going to be filmed for Bodybuilding.com, I would have laughed in your face and gone back to eating my mashed potatoes.

You NEVER know where life is going to take you but I’ll tell you something, just because you never imagined it could happen doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  I can’t WAIT to share the feature with everyone once it comes out!




That’s right!  You read that right!  It IS a fabulyss fitlife!

This Fabulyss FItlife has been a bit of a shit-show the last few weeks (not the bad kind of shit-show that you try to delete all of the text messages and destroy any spec of photo or video evidence that may come back to bite you on the ass later- hey we have ALL been there) but the kind of shit-show where you look back and think… where did those weeks go?  THAT went by fast!  It started  with quitting my job, going into an INCREDIBLE opportunity to do a photoshoot with Bodybuilding.com, next a cross-country move back to the burbs of Chicago, followed by a new amazing job opportunity with Equinox and now here we meet again.  Did you miss me?? I missed you!

(Side note- stay tuned on Thursday for a #throwbackthursday post about my amazing experience in Boise with Bodybuilding.com)

It dawned on me during my road-trip from Arizona to Chicago that I want to share more about my day-to-day lifestyle here on the blog…I mean that’s what it’s here for right?! I get a lot of messages on Facebook and Instagram (if I could ever figure out how to use that effing Snapchat thing I may get some on there too) about my diet, training and lifestyle.  We all know that LIFESTYLE is what makes the fitlife and I work REALLY hard and have worked hard in the past to build a lifestyle that I’m really proud of…I want to share that with you dear reader.

Life has taken a really great turn the last few weeks.  I am finally home with my amazing family, I was hired by Equinox in Highland Park as a Personal Trainer and can FINALLY say that I actually look FORWARD to going to work (oh yeah, go ahead and read that again…. and again….one more time just to make sure you got it).  When I was working in the hotel, I was doing hotel business all day everyday and would have to spend what little personal time I had outside of the hotel to learn about fitness, diet and wellness.  NOW, my DAY IS REVOLVED AROUND THOSE THINGS!  THIS IS FREAKING GREAT!!

While I do have a job at the gym, I am building my own business Fabulyss Fitlife which is the Lifestyle Coaching and Personal Training services I offer both on-line and in person.  A lot of the on-line coaching I do is for those who are going to be having or have had bariatric surgery.  When I went through the bariatric surgery process, looking back, I wish I had had a bit more guidance from either the doctors office, a support group or even a mentor type person who was there if I had questions, who had been through the process before and was successful.  I want to offer that support to others.  As a personal trainer, having BEEN obese before, I understand where my clients are coming from.  I know how intimidating it is walking into a gym the first few times, I know how scary it is being asked to do physical movements you aren’t sure you can do and I know what it feels like to be terrified of being judged because you can’t do those movements.  Bottom line…I want to support others on THEIR journey.  EVERYONE deserves to feel good.  Good about their lifestyle, good about themselves, good about their health and well being, good about their abilities…you get the idea!  That is what I want to do, support people on their journey to feel good.

On another note- After the crash and burn from the last contest disaster I have taken some much needed time to rest.  I have still been hitting the gym and hitting it hard but I didn’t realize how burnt out my body was once I finally slowed down.  I figured one weekend of rest, relaxation and relaxed dieting would be plenty to recover and hit the ground running again with training…WRONG.  Maybe I was emotionally drained, physically drained and just all together exhausted from what I had put myself through the last few months.  After Boise, my body just crashed.  NOW….I’m fully recovered, rested and ready to be FABULYSS!

I have decided to compete again.  I know, I know I said I was going to wait until after my next plastic surgery BUT I LOVE competing SO much.  I miss it and I’m itching to get back onto that stage ASAP!  I have picked an October show with UFE (this was the federation I did my first show with).  I have a few more weeks until I start my prep and I have put a plan together in order to stay as lean as possible, while working on the details of my muscles.  I also want to incorporate NEW types of training into my routines and those I will be sharing here in this blog.  For now, below is the basic outline of the plan I put together as well as diet breakdown, training and pictures of where I am now.  I have ONE goal… GET AS SHREDDED AS POSSIBLE.  (don’t judge).

Fabulyss Fitlife Food

(I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 6 months- not having a day off ever will make it very difficult to make an appointment, so that was priority #1 when I got home.  I was semi-terrified to go to the doctor and see what was going on up and inside me especially after the beating I gave myself the months prior.  It definitely was NOT as brutal as I was expecting it to be!  My doc told me that I do need to increase iron consumption both through diet as well as supplements and I also have to increase protein intake.  Don’t have to ask me twice haha)

Protein 200 grams

Fat 58 grams

Carbs 18 grams

Most of my protein sources are coming from the same as I have been doing forever; chicken, eggs, fish, nitrate free turkey breast and I have also had to add-in a protein shake in order to get to the 200 gram mark.  I have to find a protein powder that tastes good, doesn’t have a ton of fillers in it and isn’t a million dollars…I feel like I’m searching for the great pumpkin but stay tuned… I’ll keep you posted on what I DO find and a review on each.


My split looks like this

Monday- Legs (calves and abs included)

Tuesday- Back/Bis

Wednesday- Shoulders / Chest / Triceps

Thursday- Off from lifting (active rest- yoga, swim, long walk etc)

Friday- Legs (calves and abs included)

Saturday- Back / Bis

Sunday – Shoulders / Triceps

Cardio is something I will be playing with and trying different methods.  It is really important to me to keep challenging myself and my body to see what I am truly capable of- who knows, maybe there is a tough mudder in my future.   ANYTHING is possible.

Sets/Reps/Weights- all of these are going to be something that I try different methods of and keep track here to let you know how they go.


BASIC!  My body needed a break from the fat burners I was taking while prepping.  I am sticking to the basics and will stick with them for a while.

Multi Vitamin, Omega 3s, Calcium, Iron (mucho iron), VItamin D, BCAAs, Creatine, B-Complex, Potassium, Magnesium and Biotin

It’s a Fabulyss Fitlife…Day 1…. Let’s do this!


30 minutes on the stairmill at level 10

at the 10 minute mark and the 20 minute mark I did 5 minutes of glute kick-backs at level 4

20 minutes on the treadmill of intervals

1 minute at 6 MPH and 1 minute at 3 MPH for 20 minutes followed by a 5 minute cool-down


Barbell Squats- 3 x 15 @ 100# (2 second pause at the bottom)

3 x 8 @ 135# (ATG)

Romanian Deadlift 5 x 10 @ 100#

Superset Curtsey Lunge 5 x 10 w/ 25# plate

Leg Press 4 x 10 (2 plates each side) 3 second lower, 3 second power push

superset walking bodyweight lunges 25 each side

Leg Extensions (I call these sandwiches) 1 set moderate weight at 15 reps

1 set heavy at 8 reps

1 set moderate weight until failure  (I did this for 20 rounds)

Seated Calf Raises 90# 5 quick reps, 5 second hold, 5 slow reps (20 rounds)

Laying Leg Curl sandwiches (20 rounds)

Glute Bridges on leg extension machine 10 x 10 with iso hold at the top

Foam roll at the end!







This was a difficult post to write…not because of the content itself but because putting it into words makes it real.  To be honest…that’s a bit terrifying.

It might help if I start at the beginning and catch you up on what lead up to that incredibly dramatic opening line.

There are a few things that I can list that are so unbelievably important to me.  Things that I would die inside if I lost and things that all of my life decisions revolve around.

My family and close friends

My health and able body which now also includes weight lifting and fitness

My most favorite personality traits about myself:  My ability to see the positive in any situation, my oddly energetic and upbeat nature, my sense of humor, my ability to get along with almost anyone

My determination

The opportunities to be better

(and I can’t lie…I do love my ability to retain useless tidbits of trivia and facts)

Any decision I make is because, for or the make any of the above; stronger, better or most wonderful.


I originally took this job in Phoenix for the second to last item on the list (The opportunity to be better).  Better means anything that I can do that will make me better.  Better person, daughter, employee, human being… I strive to do one thing per day that will just make me better.  This one was one I couldn’t turn down.  I had been in the hospitality industry for the better part of a decade and had done a pretty decent job of moving up the corporate hospitality ladder relatively quickly.  I originally fell in love with the hospitality industry even before college because every day seemed like it would be different.  You would always meet and interact with people from all over the world.  You could learn about different cultures, share new experiences with people, witness people see something for the very first time…it was an incredible and exciting industry to be in.  Corporate America didn’t seem so bad either.  You put in your time, you make a decent pay check, you are covered with medical insurance, dental maybe vision if you’re lucky and maybe even put some money into a 401k,  (then give up half your money to the BIG boss…but that’s a different post for a WAY different blogger).   Then, when you’ve done this for 50+ years you retire.  Easy Peasy right?  Taking this job meant another step up the ladder, a new adventure in whole new city, all new people, brand new experience and a whole new chapter of life.

Since day one in the hotel biz, I busted my ass.  You HAVE to in this industry if you want to keep up.  Plus, I’ve always had a killer work ethic from my parents who always worked their asses of so that we could live comfortably.  Hard work was never something I had a problem with.  I put in the hours needed, I sacrificed what I needed to and made sure the job was done  Moving away from home was going to be difficult but I had done it before going to Las Vegas and found a way to build a second family there during college.  I knew that I was going to have a hard time leaving my family, but I was excited for the new family I would  meet in this new place.  Anyone in the hotel industry will tell you that it’s tough.  The new mentality of travelers where they are shocked that they have to pay for anything, demand VIP treatment on an EBT budget and this weird phase where people’s first reaction is to yell and be horrible and nasty and mean when they don’t like what they hear…BUT…it’s entertaining as hell and overall it’s a fun industry.

The honeymoon phase of ANYTHING is always cupcakes and unicorns.  Dating, a new toy, updated remodel…it’s NEW, it’s EXCITING!  The blaze of sunshine in the beginning is often blinding.  I moved to Phoenix for THIS job.  THIS is the reason I left everything and everyone I know.  I knew I was going to have to work HARD.  This wasn’t just an event management job.  It was an event SALES AND MANAGEMENT job.  The beginning was great!  Everyone was super nice, the resort is beautiful, the Phoenix weather is incredible and all new people is like adult Disneyland for a super social Chatty-Kathy like yours truly.

With everything going so well I picked another bodybuilding show to prepare for, re-started my book since I lost it in the move, I decided to get involved with Meet-Up to try to meet new people, I had a big exam for my Behavior Change Specialization with NASM coming up and yeah, I even looked into the Tinder to see what the male population was working with in this part of the country.  I was starting to build a new life here, my own life.

Work started getting a little busy so I was having to put in the occasional Saturday to meet with a few brides to talk wedding details.  I started having to stay late 1-2 days a week to make sure everything was done before leaving.  I was asked to remove all of my family photos from my desk because it was not professional for client’s to see when they came into the office.  I had to do extensive training to learn the new systems that the company uses to create events.  I have my own way of learning things and my own way of retaining information but was told by my boss that “I wasn’t learning fast enough and she was shocked that I didn’t know more of the information that I should know at this point in my career.”  So I worked harder.  I stayed later to complete more training, came in after meeting with brides on weekends to research past events and clients.  The extended time took away from time in the gym a few days a week and I adjusted as needed, my meet-up experiences dwindled down to once a week MAYBE but I hadn’t even had a chance to meet anyone yet anyway.  I started coming to work earlier and having to stay later.  8-9pm nights became regular and Saturdays were normal.  I was getting cardio done first thing in the morning at 5am to get to work my 7am and the lifting after I left work.   My plans for exploring Phoenix, Sedona, Jerome and going to L.A. or Vegas had to take a back seat because I needed to do well at this job.  Eventually, I was able to squeeze a one week vacation to see my family since the busy season was coming up at the hotel and I wouldn’t be able to see them again until after the summer.  So we went to Mexico in January, of course I had to hit the ground running after vacation and things just seemed to fall apart after that.

My boss sat me down and told me that I was not making my numbers in Sales.  She said that I had 7 weeks to make my numbers or I was going to be up for termination.  I couldn’t be fired!  I had never been fired in my life for anything.  So I needed to do better.  I needed to work even HARDER!  I focused on trying the best I could to sell during the day and evenings were left for event details and work catch-up.

Despite what most people may think, sales is NOT one of my strengths.  I hate the feeling of “soliciting” to people and the slimy feeling I get for talking to to people knowing that there is an ulterior motive.  Sure, I can talk to anyone…but it’s because I just want to talk to them…not because I need to try to sell them something or need to butter them up before dropping the proverbial bomb on them.  Despite this weakness, I did everything I thought I could to sell.  I stayed at work late into the night, started missing workouts, decided to postpone my show to March to give me some more time, and kept grinding.  My book would have to wait.

I was told that I could no longer bring my food into my office because the smell was offensive so I would miss meals due to not wanting to be away from my desk for too long.  I would stay at my desk through the night, leave at 3 or 4am to do some cardio and get a lift in, take a nap in my car or change quickly after a quick shower in the gym and go right back to work.  I would spend weekends working on details, meeting with brides who could never meet during the week and being available for people who just walked-in off the street wanting to see meeting space for an event (it happens ALL the time).  Meal preps started happening late Sunday nights into Monday mornings just to get them done.  I started making little mistakes at work that would impact my events, my co-workers were getting annoyed with what they assumed were my careless errors.  My boss decided to have me sell corporate meetings as well as social events as well as do the event management for all of them.  I was having trouble juggling social clients as it was.  I was getting angry phone calls from brides I forgot to email back right away about their wedding over a year away, I was getting angry emails from people who I didn’t get a discounted rate for or wanted to argue about a contract…I was becoming overwhelmed, negative and bitter.  I could feel myself being sucked into this whirlwind of stink and stress.

I stopped answering my phone when my friends called.  I had nothing good or positive to tell them because all I was doing was working.  My family couldn’t get a hold of me, I stopped posting on social media and stopped trying to inspire and motivate others because I was barely keeping my own head above water.  My body wasn’t making progress into this show and I was becoming so disappointed with myself for not just sucking it up and staying up all night just to get done what I needed to get done.  After a few weeks of this, I had to meet with my boss again to “follow-up” on what I was doing.  I still wasn’t making my numbers and she gave me a tongue lashing on why she didn’t understand why I has having such a hard time with this job, why wasn’t I able to just make sales and that I would have to figure it out because she was getting tired of defending me to upper management.

That night I had my first panic attack.  I was driving home from the gym at 1am and I couldn’t take a deep breath.  My chest started to feel tight, my body started to sweat and my hands were shaking against the steering wheel.  My chest started getting tighter and tighter, I couldn’t breathe and even shallow breaths were more like gasps.  I had to pull-over and just calm-down.  I didn’t have time for this.  I have a show to prep for, I have a job I need to do and I have a family that i need to make proud of me, people who look up to me…I NEED to keep pushing it and I NEED to do this job and this show.

The deadline on my exam was drawing near and although I wasn’t taking a lunch break, I would have to take 10-20 minutes to read during “lunch” since I was having to eat in my car, I just brought my book with me to study…I can’t lie to you…the only other time I could read was in the bathroom.  Hey, I gotta do what I gotta do.  I made more changes in my prep plan because I wasn’t making progress.  I was posing as much as I could, I didn’t even have a chance to get a suit or even time to make a routine.  I kept telling myself, “on my next day off.” But that day off never came so I just put it to the side.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was a meeting with our top managers.  We go over our employee satisfaction survey responses.  No one really wants to say anything in those meetings but at the end I wanted to chime in.  “I know we all have our days and our quirks, but I just wanted you to know that I enjoy it here, I like being here and I think this is a great resort.”  To that the manager responded, “That’s great and we appreciate that but we really need you to focus on booking some business.”

It hit me…what the HELL was I doing?  Why was I doing this to myself?  I’m not good at this job…I’m not good at following the rules or fitting into a mold, an expectation to behave a certain way and be a certain way and speak a certain way.  I have given EVERYTHING to this job and what did I have to show for it?  A bad attitude,  a negative and cynical outlook that has replaced all of the amazing qualities that I had spent so many years building, an exhausted body, and a count down to a show I didn’t even think I would be ready for (which I eventually had to take down because it wasn’t ‘professional’).

Maybe there are some people who are meant for this job.  I’m SURE there are people out there who LIVE for this kind of job…but it’s not me.  The negativity of people, the physical, emotional and soul draining nature of the business just isn’t for me. If I’m going to bust my ass like this and lose sleep, sacrifice EVERYTHING I have, give up time with my family, my friends and time away from the things I love and am most passionate about…it’s going to be for something I am EXCITED to do.  Something I am MEANT to do.  I didn’t go through this HUGE life change to be someone’s punching bag, I didn’t spend years changing my life and learning everything I have learned through studying, trial and error and asking questions like a pecking bird just to be another number behind another computer booking another meeting in another hotel.  I’m meant to do something INCREDIBLE, I’m meant to change peoples lives and change the WORLD.  I’m meant to be more than just a number on a spreadsheet.  How am I supposed to do incredible things when all I do is bitch and moan about this job?   Nothing will EVER change if I don’t change it.

So you know what?  I QUIT!

I have NO back up plan, I have NO back-up job and no prospects in the very near future…and you know what?  It’s far less stressful than knowing you are going to work your ass off and still not work hard enough for the suits at Corporate.  I’ve known what I was born to do for a few years.  Maybe that’s why my tolerance for doing something that wasn’t what I know I want to do was so much lower than it has been over the years.  I am MEANT to be a lifestyle coach.  I am meant to be a motivator and voice of inspiration and courage and determination.  I went through this experience and this journey with bariatric surgery and fitness and lifestyle change and health so that I can help OTHERS make the same journey and support them along the way.  I was born with this unique, outgoing and crazy personality so I can be the voice of joy, encouragement and humor in fitness and health. No one should EVER have to go through the process of making a lifestyle change alone and it’s my goal to make sure they never have to.  It may take me YEARS to build my business…it may take years of sleepless nights, of never leaving my desk of working my ass off and not making my numbers…but it’s for MY DREAM.  MY PURPOSE. To me…THAT will always be worth it.

Things happen for a reason.  Maybe this WHOLE experience was what I needed to realize that I just wasn’t meant to be in corporate america.  I needed to lose EVERYTHING and smash my face into rock bottom to finally realize that I need to build my OWN business, my OWN venture and change lives… not just make numbers for someone else’s dream.

There is some bad news and there is some good news that comes with the most recent decision to quit.

Bad News #1- I will be leaving Phoenix.

Good News #2- I am lucky enough to have an incredible family that I can go back home to in Chicago, to live and spend time with while I build my new life and new venture.

Bad News #B- My body just wasn’t ready for this show, one week out from the show I had to make the painful decision that this just wasn’t my show.  Everything was working against me during this prep and was was just stubborn to keep going this far.  Add to that that the show had to get rid of my category…it just wasn’t meant to be.  I learned a LOT from this prep.  I know what I’m made of and I learned what I need to do for the next prep in terms of balance, commitment and focus.  I originally was disappointed in myself for being a quitter…I saw myself a quitting something that I had worked SO hard for and literally given everything I had left into.  But again…things happen for a reason.  I couldn’t get on that stage knowing that I don’t look my best.  I didn’t feel like I deserved to be on that stage knowing that I was going to get a free trophy for being the only one in my category.  I want to COMPETE.  I want to know that I’m the best physique on that stage and I want to EARN that trophy.  I’m comfortable with the decision not to compete this year.  There will always be shows in the future and I am GOING to compete.  I’m going to the Natural Olympia one day… just watch.


AMAZING NEWS #2.5- I have an INCREDIBLE opportunity at the end of March to film a video for Bodybuilding.com.  They are flying me out to Boise for filming and doing a feature on my transformation and will also be flying out my mom for the shoot!  HOW AMAZING IS THAT!? So prep isn’t over my friends…. I’m still busting my ass so I look FIERCE for this shoot!

AMAZING NEWS #3- I can FINALLY breathe.  I haven’t felt this feeling in a long time…just…happy.  I feel like I can be myself again, I feel like I had been held under water for the last 6 months and struggling to just take a breath and get my head above water.  The moment I walked out of that door…I took a deep breath and couldn’t stop smiling because now…NOW starts the adventure…NOW begins the new chapter of my life.  I’ve never been more excited and terrified in my life.


There are a lot of things I’ve done wrong during this prep.  There are a lot of things I’ve done wrong in my life.  I have lied, I’ve judged people, I have taken things for granted and I have served myself and my own needs before others.  I’ve thrown recycling into the trash, I have left the cart in the middle of a parking space instead of putting it back into the cart corral,  I have participated in sexual shenanigans with individuals I was not in a committed relationship with, I have held grudges and spoke ill about people who I don’t know.  (Didn’t think this would turn into a confession blog did ya?!)

Now that you can smell my dirty laundry, I have to admit something else.  One of the scary, wonderful and powerful things about living in a place alone without very many friends or family surrounding me is that I have a LOT of time to think and reflect.  I think about a LOT of things and reflect on even more.  Reflection is a pretty powerful thing when it is done HONESTLY and OPENLY.  Especially when you are reflecting on yourself, your life and the things, people, actions you surround yourself with.

These last few weeks have been tough.  I’d be lying if I said this prep has been easier than the first one.  The first prep I did I learned a LOT about myself physically…what I’m capable of, how hard I can push myself and how tough my body really is.  This prep…I’ve learned a lot mentally and emotionally.  I have come to the painful realization that as much as I wish to be superhuman and as much as I try… I’m just not.  I have trouble FOCUSING on one thing at a time because there are SO many things I want to do with my life.  I get frustrated with myself because my body doesn’t do exactly what I demand of it.  I am disappointed in myself for not being an overnight coaching, acting, writing sensation and allowing myself to be stuck in a job that I don’t love and not taking over the world by age 27.

I think a lot about where I was 5 years ago, where I was 2 years ago, even last year.  I have pushed my body to the limits.  I have totally changed my health, my way of eating, my way of exercising…hell the whole entire life I lead is completely different.  My body and my health are totally different and I have spent the last 5 years making that happen.  HOWEVER, I haven’t spent nearly as much time, energy and focus on my mental health.  Sure, my motivation is different, my drive, determination, ambition and courage are all different but my MIND is still trying to catch up.  I find myself getting frustrated with myself when I feel tired, when I feel crabby, when I feel overwhelmed and stressed and anxious.  I get pissed off with myself when I feel unsure and when I don’t know exactly how to do something perfectly.  Then again… I’m not superhuman.

It was a strange reflection indeed the last few days when I had to come to terms with the fact that it’s OKAY to not be goofy and silly “Lyss” all the time.  I have to remind myself that it’s OKAY to feel scared and sad and unsure.  It’s OKAY to not have all of the answers.  It’s OKAY to feel defeated and homesick and to want to be alone.  It’s even okay to not make jokes all the time and to just…be.  I spent so many years defining myself as the “funny fat girl” that I forgot to check-in with myself when I wasn’t fat anymore and see how I felt, where my thoughts were and what I wanted for myself and my life moving forward.

I’ll never stop making stupid sexually perverted and politically incorrect jokes, I’ll never not be goofy and silly and weird and odd and all of things that make me who I am, but, I have to start being OKAY with the fact that there are other qualities in there too.  I have to understand that I am going to feel uncomfortable and I’m going to have all of these emotions and feelings that I have never really sat with and felt before.  As exciting as all of those “FEELINGS” sound…that terrifies me more than getting on stage in my teenie weenie bikini.  But maybe this is my final step into my Transformation to a new life.  I’ve lost the weight, changed my lifestyle, got rid of the skin… now this is the last step. Took me long enough!  (What can I say…I’m stubborn).  I may not be superhuman…. but I am a human who is super.  I don’t think I like the word “transformation”.  I think it makes me feel like something final, something definite.  I’m ALWAYS going to be progressing, I’m always going to be changing, transforming, moving forward and reflecting.  It’s a constant journey…not a destination.

This past week my prep has taken on a whole new life.  I am FOCUSED.  That was one of my reflections.  Between work and studying and writing and meal preps and trying to stay active on social media, I was spread all over the place and forgot to just FOCUS on this prep.  Maybe it’s too late to get focused, maybe it took me too long to realize what I was doing wrong and why but this past week and moving forward I am focused.  I know my body is behind, I know my posing is behind and that’s on me.  There is no one to blame but myself for any mis-steps in this process but myself.  That’s what I love so much about this sport.  Maybe that’s why I stick to myself in the gym and have trouble asking for and sticking to help from others with regards to this sport…because I need to figure this out for myself. *please refer back to my comment about being stubborn*

I have been taking this process to a WHOLE new level in terms of my training and trying to catch up:

Cardio has been one hour in the morning – 40 minutes on the stairs and 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill or bike.  I have been doing this in my sauna suit, sweat pants and double sweaters.  Then I do abs and then I go into the mirror room and go through all of my poses, mandatories and quarter turns in all of that sweaty stuff and hold for 20 seconds and have been increasing the hold time each morning.  After my lift I go home, eat and then do Insanity Max 30.  Say what you want about beachbody and the Insanity program but this shit is BANANAS!  I hate/love Shaun T and it is a type of cardio that gets my heart rate sky high, I don’t have to wear underpants and I can hop RIGHT into the shower after.

My split has been pretty much the same but only one day off from lifting instead of two.  Lifts have been INTENSE and with very little rest between sets.  I have been incorporating “cardio acceleration” in between some sets where I run in place, do step ups, kettle bell swings….whatever I can think of that will keep my heart rate up between sets.  I have been focusing on the “problem areas” like my lower back fat and thighs when I’m doing cardio as well as my lifts.

Diet has taken a pretty big hit as well and I have brought it to a place where I hope is good.  I mean… I FEEL good, my body feels strong.  Yeah, I’m tired at the end of the day but I would be concerned if I was doing cartwheels into bed every night instead of army crawling with exhaustion.

I’ve been at about 1,400 calories per day

180 grams of protein (mostly from chicken, eggs and fish).

70 grams of fat (from almonds, olive oil and coconut oil).

20 grams of carbs (from dark green veggies like broccoli and kale).

Cheat meals have been cut out for the remainder of prep and protein shakes have been discontinued.  I am keeping this PALEO as this is usually what works best for my body and I notice I don’t as many bubble gut issues or digestion situations when I stick to the foods I know my body likes.

I have kept all of the supplements to bare bones since Mexico.  I take what my body NEEDS for the bariatric surgery and I take caffeine/yohimbine in the mornings and before my lift for the energy.

There are some AMAZING things happening in the very near future.  Instead of just focusing on the end product, I am going to really enjoy the experience ONE WEEK at a time.

I have 43 days- SIX WEEKS!

I’m behind but I’m not going to give up.  That’s one quality that I believe IS superhuman… I will NEVER give up.

P.S. PLEASE don’t forget to tune-in on Sunday, February 7th at 8pm PST to:


We are going to chat about weight loss, skin surgery and all of the shenanigans in between.



Ch…Ch…Changes (53 Days to go!)





Let’s get straight to the point shall we?  None of us are perfect.  (PHEW! It feels SO good to get that off my chest- if this is new information to you… I’ll get you a paper bag to breathe into).  NONE of us are perfect.  We are all just human… skin, blood, bones…maybe a few silicone parts here and there but we are all just masses of water and tissue trying to live our lives.  As I progress through life and the drastic change my life has made I have to keep remind myself of this fact.


“Lyss, you are only human… it’s OKAY to make mistakes.”


“Woman, you have NEVER done anything like this before… it’s okay to be confused and to just not know.”


“Bitch… give yourself a damn break…you have your WHOLE life to make mistakes and learn from them- you don’t have to have it ALL figured out right this moment.”


These are the things I tell myself on a daily basis.  I am my NUMBER ONE FAN but I am also my NUMBER ONE CRITIC….. did that sound as weird reading it as it did typing it?  Welcome to a moment in my brain.  Never a dull experience.


I tell you these things because I am still BRAND new to bodybuilding and fitness in general.  It has ONLY been 5 years since I decided to lose weight and only 3 years since I really took to lifting, nutrition and lifestyle changes seriously.  It’s STILL a process for me too.  Please don’t let photos fool you… ANYONE can make a body transformation… but the mind is a much trickier transformation to make.  It takes MUCH longer and requires a WHOLE different kind of hard work than going to the gym.  Don’t read me wrong… I said… DIFFERENT KIND.  When I am at the gym I get down to work… I push myself and try new things and track everything and really take advantage of every single rep, set and pound to make my body stronger, better and faster.  The gym is 2-3 hours of my day.  My mind… well that sucker will ALWAYS be there… 24 hours a day for the rest of my life.  That requires a constant state of awareness, consciousness and reflection.  I still catch myself driving past Wendy’s or Burger King and saying, “ooo… a burger and fries sound amazing right now” and I have to mentally bitch slap myself and ask myself, “Who do you think you are? There is NO reason or justification to allow for that type of trash to enter your body.” Then I go about my day until it happens again.


Look, I get it… for someone who has NEVER had a weight issue or an issue with food, this seems so strange to you.  Many of my fit friends and many (UNINFORMED) personal trainers have said, just eat less and move more.  Well if it was THAT simple we would live in a VERY different looking world.  It’s not that easy.  Yes, I have lost a significant amount of weight, I have overcome all of the terrible behaviors that got me to 300+ pounds and I have found a deep passion for a healthy and enriched life and an even deeper passion for bodybuilding.  Not only that, but now I have started my studying to become a COACH in order to support others get to a happier, healthier lifestyle.  HOWEVER, this does NOT mean that the thoughts and the struggles that lead to the bad behaviors are not still hanging around. They are like hooligan skateboarding teenagers that refuse to leave the alleys of my mind.


Not wanting to drag this rant out any further… I’ll go ahead and land my plane and get to my point.  Sometimes you JUST have to change… it’s as easy as that.  I am a BIG fan of changing…I think anyone who knows me know this is true.  I’ve changed jobs, changed locations, changed lifestyles, changed goals… change keeps things fun, exciting and new.


At the beginning of this prep I think I did EVERYTHING wrong.  I came into this thinking I knew what my plan was and what works best for prep but AGAIN I forget to listen to my body…that needed to change.


I came into this with the attitude “I’ve done this before… I’ll do the same thing but harder and longer and get better results.”  That needed to change


Finally, I wanted to keep this prep to myself…I didn’t want to share it with social media or my followers and that needs to change.  I OWE it to the bariatric community to share my story, my struggles and my victories.  I owe it to my friends and family who root for me and cheer me on.  I owe it to the newbie competitors like myself who feel like they are wandering blind in the rainforest of information, facts and “gurus”.


Look, I’m just a funny fat girl.  I am woman enough to admit when I need a change, I’m strong enough to recognize that I’m not smarter than my body and I am for SURE amateur enough to come to terms with the fact that it will take me maybe 5-10 more competitions before I really get a good prep program down that works for me.


The Mexico trip with my family was something that we all REALLY needed- for more than one reason.  I really used this as an opportunity to shut off my mind and reconnect with myself and my body and just listen to my body and go back to what I KNOW as a bariatric patient.  No matter WHAT I do in the future, whether it be bodybuilding, fencing or competitive underwater basket weaving, I am a bariatric patient FIRST and EVERYTHING I do needs to take that into consideration.  I CANNOT diet like everyone else anymore, I CANNOT eat what everyone else eats anymore and that’s why I needed the change.


In Mexico I just ate.  I ate what my body needed.  I ate when I was hungry, I stopped when I was full.  I ate wholesome food and all home cooked food; Egg whites, fresh veggies, chicken, fresh fish, avocados (pretty much my own body weight in guacamole).  I enjoyed a few glasses of wine, two cheat meals and a few treats.  I worked out every day and kept my workouts short but intense.  Cardio was mostly sprinting intervals on the treadmill.  One day we went scuba diving which is an AWESOME activity to change things up a bit.  I lifted every day for about 45 minutes and kept rest periods short and weights moderate.  I also stuck to compound movements to really get a good bang for my buck.  We walked on the beach almost every night, we went deep sea fishing and laid by the ocean and played in the pool and JUST. RELAXED.  I didn’t even THINK about work or stress.  I thought a lot about my family and my mom and my future.


This trip was really a turning point for me in the way I think about my future.  EVERYTHING I do from this point on is for my mom.  This book I’m writing, the career I have now, the career I’m building for my future… I NEVER want that woman to ever have to work another day in her life.  I want her to see the world and experience life and not have to worry about one single thing.  EVER.


Since returning…I’ve made some changes.


I’m still listening to my body and that’s exactly what I’m going to keep doing.  I’m going to keep you my beautiful and sexy people (that would be you) in the loop with this prep.  Not just weekly but a few times a week so you can really follow my process.  I want you to know how this process works and what I struggle with and what I change along the way.  Plus, it is a HELLUVA big help when I also have something to refer back to.  PLUS, everyone needs to feel accountable.  Even this kid.


Happy 53 days until show time people!


Take a look at what I’m looking like.  A HUGE thank you for following along and your support.  It means so much to me.


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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!