Thursday, 27 March 2014

Bikini Contest Prep // THE PLAN

I started working out with my trainer this week and it's been very challenging.  I'm training to enter a fitness bikini contest that is just shy of 15 weeks away- July 5.  This post is a brief overview of the training plan so that you can get started too.  If you want a bikini body this summer, you need to start working on it now!  As the weeks progress, if the plan changes, I'll let you know.  I will also break down the exercises into more specific details in future posts.  

For now, here's the plan: 



Workout 3 days a week with my trainer (1 hour sessions, hitting all body parts in those 3 sessions).  The workouts consist of plyometrics- also known as "jump training" based on having your muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible.  The result is to make you burn calories and fat, seeing body-shaping results sooner as your muscles adapt to more challenging fitness workouts.  We have been doing 3 exercises in quick succession (12-20 reps) followed by a 2-minute rest.  We've been doing 4 rounds of this, so 12 different exercises in all.  This kind of workout really gets your heart pumping and I'm gasping for breath by the end of each set.  But not so much so that I'm getting light headed or going to pass out.  My trainer said in 3 weeks, my conditioning will be greatly improved and these first workouts will seem easy.  I'm trying to remember the specific exercises so I can write about them in more detail later. 


I do 4- 30 minute cardio sessions per week on my own.  I usually do the treadmill (sprints - 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off at a 8.0 mph or walk at an incline of 21 at 2.1 - 2.5 speed without holding on.)  Or I get on the stair master and alternate between 60-80.


I do an ab routine right before cardio 4 times a week.  


I take all the same vitamins and supplements I posted about with the addition of glutamine (for muscle recovery).  I haven't bought the glutamine yet, but will soon. 


I haven't had to change my eating at all since I've been on a solid meal plan for the last 7 weeks.  My trainer said that we're going to see how I do with the exercise and cardio first, without changing my diet.  Then, we'll add more cardio and/or adjust my diet as necessary.

Here's what my meals look like now:

7:00 a.m.  Protein pancake (1/2 cup oatmeal w/ 4-5 egg whites w/ 1 tblsp natural peanut butter and 1 tblsp sugar free syrup.  Coffee with vanilla caramel creamer.

9:30 a.m.   Lean protein (appx. 4 oz), 1 cup veggies, 1/3 cup brown rice

12:00 p.m.  Protein shake

3:00 p.m.  Lean protein (appx. 4 oz), 1 cup veggies, 1/3 cup brown rice

6:00 p.m.  Lean protein (appx. 4 oz), 1 cup veggies

8:30 p.m.  Greek yogurt

This is a general guideline.  I still use condiments and seasonings.  Snacks include cashew, apple or celery with natural peanut butter.

(My meals vary week to week, right now I'm eating my Tex Mex but have added brown rice and bell peppers and I also steamed asparagus to eat on the side). 


Whoa! That's really low, right?!  My trainer explained that the goal of our training plan is to decrease body fat while increasing muscle mass.  He understands that the "bikini" girls are not supposed to be huge, just fit/athletic-looking with visible abs.  He commented that most people come to him in less good shape than I'm already in, but there is still a lot of work to do. 

I really like his approach though because he advises that the process should be enjoyable and I shouldn't feel miserable or like I'm dying.  He's careful to let me take a break when we're working out when he sees that I need it, but he's still super challenging.  I can tell you I wouldn't workout this hard with plyometrics if I didn't have a trainer.  I do enjoy (for the most part) my meals and eating healthy. Like most people, I have a lot of stresses in my life.  My dad is sick (but healed in Jesus' name), my mom is worried sick, my brother is going through stuff and life can be hard in general.  God, the power of prayer, keeping tight with my family, and working out HARD are my stress relievers.  I am thankful that God made me capable of exercise, that I have the physical ability to do it.  

We will measure my body fat on Friday, so we'll see where I am now.  I am so curious to see what my body will look like as we continue.  


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Extra Lean Ground Turkey Fried Rice

Oh my goodness friends!  I made a meal that I'm in love with and couldn't wait to share it with you. Last week I posted about my pre-made extra lean ground turkey meals.  I ended up adding 1/3 cup of steamed brown rice to get some carbs in and then, to change it up, I decided to make it Asian and fry up an egg and onion in a tiny bit of peanut oil (a "good" fat) and then added in the pre-made meal.  It is so good! 

Here is a pic of the pre-made meals (before I added the steamed brown rice).

To make the meals:

Extra lean ground turkey (I buy 99% lean) - brown it with mushrooms, chopped onion, garlic, about 2 tablespoons of worchestershire sauce, low sodium soy sauce, and Dijon mustard

Steamed chopped veggies (I used zucchini, squash, and carrot)

Steamed brown rice 

In each meal is about 3/4 cup of the meat, 3/4 cup to 1 cup veggies, 1/3 cup of rice.

To make the fried rice version:

Fry up some eggs in a tablespoon of peanut oil along with chopped onion (scallions would be perfect but I didn't have any).  On medium-high heat, add in the rice, turkey mixture, and veggies.  Let the rice get "fried" and keep stirring until it's all heated through.

For one meal, I added one or two eggs- this was for two meals.

Let me know if you try it! 


Bikini Contest Prep Update: So far I've met with my trainer once and we train again tomorrow (where he'll measure my body composition and give me a meal plan).  I'll be sharing those details with you soon! 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Bikini Competition Prep (15 Weeks Out)

I have always wanted to enter one of those fitness bikini competitions, but never have.  My first one will be July 5, 2014!

Jamie Eason has been my inspiration because she is short like me and I admired her physique, thinking mine could look similar if I really dedicated myself.

I know that to get in that kind of shape, you have to train hard consistently, but equally as important, you have to eat in a very regimented way (5-6 small meals a day with a specific balance of protein, carbs and fat).  I never thought I had the discipline to sustain that kind of lifestyle for any length of time so I let that goal go, and went on with life, but continued working out and tried to stay in shape.  But, back of my mind, I always wished I would have gone for my goal and wondered, "What if?".  

Last year, my cousin began competing in fitness competitions (over age 40!) and she recently visited from California, encouraging me to enter one this year as well.  She helped me get online and find a contest close to home that I could train for.  A "typical" training period is 12 weeks (for those who have done them before), but I chose a competition that is currently 15 weeks away (July 5 to be exact), and I start training with a trainer 3 days a week starting tomorrow- Monday, March 24- and I'll also workout on my own.  My trainer will prepare a meal plan for me.  Since I have been eating really clean and 5 meals a day for the last 7 weeks, I'm more mentally prepared to keep it up through the contest prep time.  We'll see . . . .


Here is what I look like now (15 weeks out from the July 5 competition):  As you can see, I have quite a bit of muscle to gain.  I'm 5'1 and weigh about 110 now. 

I'm super excited to see how I can develop my body in this amount of time and I'm happy to be reaching for one of my "bucket list" goals, even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else. This is a perfect time for me to train for this competition because I'm currently staying home and my son is in pre-school part of the day.  I take care of our household, keep up my two blogs (this one and Honey We're Home), and help out my parents, but I'm the kind of person who likes to have lots going on, accomplishing things throughout the day.  

I'll have to figure the training out as we go since my son's school ends in May.  I know that lots of women do this kind of training while working full-time, but I don't know how they do it (especially when they have kids too)!  


For background, in terms of female fitness competitions there are several divisions in the NPC (National Physique Committee of the USA) and I will be competing in the "bikini" division. 

Bodybuilding- extreme, big, bulky muscles (think women with muscles as big or bigger than men)

Physique- similar to bodybuilding, but toned down a few notches

Fitness- very lean and muscular, but no extreme bulk or veins and requires a 2-minute routine scored for strength, flexibility, and cardio/tempo

Figure- small degree of muscularity with separation, but no visible striations, overall muscle tone with shapely lines, firmness; lean but not excessively ripped. Overall appearance including make-up, suit and skin tone is part of the package. Muscular but still feminine; definitely not as much size as a bodybuilder.

Bikini- very athletic and fit with balance and shape, usually with visible abs


POSING SUITS: Bikini contest posing suits (two-piece) for am prejudging must be brought to check-in and be approved by the Head Judge. The bottom of the suit should be in good taste – not too low in front and covering 50% of the gluteus area (bring a second suit with a more modest bottom, just in case). Bikini suits should be “off the rack” types. Thong suits are not allowed. Competitors must wear high heels. Jewelry may be worn (think tasteful). 

You should bring a second suit in case there are questions about a suit style or some other mishap occurs. Emphasis is on “tasteful”, remember these are family shows. There are also a variety of different products to temporarily glue your suit to your body. 

HAIR / MAKEUP: While there are no rules on how to wear your hair, just remember that judges cannot judge what they cannot see. Remember to move your hair aside so the judges can see your back development. For makeup, the more finished and feminine you appear, the better your overall presentation. Keep in mind your face and body tan should blend. 

POSES: The bikini swimsuit round will consist of the model walk at center stage – front stance with hand on hip, full turn to a back stance with hand on hip, and return to front stance. No lewd acts are permitted and will result in disqualification. 

SCORING: The scoring for bikini will be done during prejudging in one round –two-piece. Live scoring at the night show consists of front/back turns. 

Judges will be scoring competitors using the following criteria: 1) Balance and Shape; 2) Overall physical appearance including complexion, skin tone, poise and overall presentation.
I will be tracking my progress here and will share my training regimen and diet as I prepare.  Kinda scared for my first training session tomorrow . . . . . 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Operation Get Lean // Week 6 Recap

Hello 6 weeks!  I'm happy to report that I'm still sticking to my "get lean" program and I'm definitely seeing results- which inspires me to continue.  I saw on Pinterest recently a quote that said, "Summer bodies are made in the winter."  Luckily, we still have some time until summer, so might as well start now!  It's a bummer to be uncomfortable in your clothes when it's hot and sticky outside. 

I post progress pictures on my Instagram (@honeywerehome) and use #honeywerehealthy if you want to follow along.  

(This pic was snapped on Sunday, right after my shoulder workout.  If only they always looked so buff!) 


5 minute treadmill warmup (speed at 4.0), then go directly to planks.  I actually held a plank for 5 minutes!!! on Sunday.  (Which goes to show that often our physical ability is greater than our mental limitations.)  Having my stopwatch on my phone helps because I can see how long it's been.  I just felt good and wanted to see how long I could go for.  When I passed 4 minutes, I held on until 5, but it was super hard.  The next 2 planks I could only do 2 minutes each.

I'm also realizing that incorporating 3 planks into the workouts makes for a long workout- (3 planks for at least 3 minutes and 2 minutes rest in between = 15 minutes + 5 min warmup = 20 minutes before I even get to weights).  Now that I'm lifting heavier, I rest at least one minute between sets, so the workouts take longer there too.  And if I'm doing cardio at the end, that can be almost 2 hours at the gym on those days.  So, I may do one plank and then pushups.  Or just add in abs between sets and skip planks all together.  I could easily just do planks at home.  We'll see.

Also, I want to build my booty, so I'm doing squats and kickbacks every couple days (even on non-leg days).

Finally, I find that I really need more rest to recover.  My body is tired!  I'm trying to get at least 8 hours a night but it's hard because I'm a night owl.  My alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. and those mornings come fast! (Especially last week with the time change.)

Monday - Shoulders, 3 planks (3 min each)

Tuesday - Back & Booty, Cardio (20 minutes on stair master at Level 60)

Wednesday - Bicep/Tricep, 3 planks (3 min each), Cardio- 30 minutes on stair master at Level 60

Thursday - Legs, 3 planks (2 for 3 min- was going on 5 hours of sleep)  Cardio- 15 minutes on treadmill at 3.5 (this isn't really a cardio workout, but more of a way to stretch my legs after lifting heavy leg weights to make me less sore later).

Friday - Off

Saturday - Off 

Sunday - Shoulders & Booty, 3 planks (5 min, 2 min, 2 min)

You can see my specific workouts here:  


I'm still on THIS MEAL PLAN.  *UPDATE:  I'm adding 1/3 cup of carbs (brown rice) to the two earlier meals. 

7:00 a.m.  oatmeal, coffee with creamer, (and 3 egg whites- just started adding that this week

9:30 a.m.  protein shake (lately 1 scoop of protein powder with 8 oz 1% milk)

11:00 p.m.  lean protein and veggies and 1/3 cup of  brown rice

3:00 p.m.  lean protein and veggies and 1/3 cup of  brown rice or greek yogurt 

6:00 p.m. lean protein and veggies 

8:30-9  egg white omelet or greek yogurt 

I snacked on cashews and celery with natural peanut butter.

It's not difficult to prepare the meals since I usually cook in big batches (I find it's actually more time consuming and hard to come up with different meals for each day and then cook that night), but it's hard to be eating every few hours.  The times above are a guide, but if I'm hungry, I eat and if I'm not, I don't.  I'm not "forcing" myself to eat at those times.  I also keep my portions on the smaller size, and I don't eat until I'm stuffed.  I've found that this way of eating has helped keep my energy steady throughout the day.

I hate running low on my food and worrying about quickly having to cook something, so this week I'm prepared!

I use 3-cup Glad containers that I bought at my grocery store, but I found some online at Amazon too.


"Cheat" meals this week included: 

Monday- evening hot cocoa 

Thursday- 2 pieces of pizza

Friday- Starbuck's iced tall 2-pump mocha, no whip.

Saturday- BBQ (2 ribs, loaded baked potato (but they forgot the bacon:( 1/2 cup jalepeno creamed corn.

I also had 2 of these WW ice creams bars this week.  They are really good!


You can still enter to win a $100 Visa GIFTCARD on my post HERE.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Leg & Glute Workout

Happy Friday to you!  Today is a "rest" day - yippee, I need it!  I've trained heavy Monday through Thursday with my sleep all messed up and finally got a good night's rest last night.  I feel so much better.  We are having a bout of gorgeous weather here and I'm chaperoning a class field trip today so it's going to be a great day.  

Below is the LEG & GLUTE workout I did recently.  I'm training to add more muscle definition to my legs- I have lost so much over the years.  My calves are genetically round thanks to my mom, who has the same legs.  

I always start with these, a great compound exercise that works primarily the thighs, hips, butt, quads, and hamstrings.  The "Smith Machine" keeps the barbell steady and will only move up and down (as opposed to forward and backward), providing more stability.  I put that cushion on the bar too behind my neck because it's more comfortable.  

This machine might look intimidating, but I love it for training quads. I put 115 pounds on each side, for a total of 230- your legs are often stronger than you think! 

Image via Teach PE

You step onto and off of the bench 10 times on each leg for a total of 20 reps.  This one really gets your heart rate up, but go at your own pace and be careful not to fall- place your whole foot on the bench, not just your toes. 

Via You Tube (click for video)

This machine isolates the quad muscles.  You'll need to adjust the back to fit your height.  I can use it on the "shortest" setting, but I found a back piece that fits into the chair and like using it so the machine fits me perfectly.  I put 70 pounds in the workout, but I'm up to 75 now. 

Images via Shape Fit

A great hamstring exercise.  

Image via The Deadlift


Image via Cybex


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tricep/Bicep WORKOUT

Ready to get some nice, shapely arms?!  Here is a great workout for your biceps and triceps.  I used to not care too much about tricep or back exercises, but they are necessary to achieve that sculpted looked I'm going for.  

I've got a pretty good bicep coming along- it doesn't look that pumped unless I'm flexing though.  

This workout incorporates "dips" and "pushups" which you can do at home too.


Image via Katsized

DIPS (triceps)
I put my feet out farther than pictured below, it's more difficult that way.

Image via Women's Health

PUSHDOWNS (triceps)

Image via

Don't be intimidated by the machines.  Ask a trainer how to use them if you are unsure.  But, they usually have a modular that shows the body part the machine is intended for (blackened out or colored orange) and an illustrated drawing of how to do the exercise.

Some of the machines come with different attachments and you may need to switch them out to get the one you are looking for. At my gym, extra handles/attachments are kept in a specific spot, but sometimes I have to take one off of one machine and move it to the one I'm working on.  If I can't reach it, I'll just ask someone for help.  Also, I'm careful not to take a weight/attachment that someone is using- just ask first!  

They all "clip" on.  So, for instance, for TRICEP PUSHDOWNS, if you didn't want to do them with a rope (like the guy is doing in the second photo above) you can unclip it and replace it with a straight bar like in the photo of the woman. 

Also, most machines have plates that are weighted 1= 10 pounds, 2=20 pounds, 3=30 pounds, etc.  If you need 15 or 25 or 35 pounds, you can add a 5 pound plate.  Sometimes I have to look around to find a 5 pound plate- but they are usually hanging on the side of a machine.

Image via Gorecess


Image via EliteFTS


BARBELL CURLS "21"  (biceps)
These are my favorite!  Use a barbell and follow the guide below.

Image credit unknown

You can see my SHOULDER & BACK workouts too.

Follow me on PINTEREST & INSTAGRAM. :) 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Operation Get Lean // Week 5 Recap

One more week will be 6 weeks of clean eating and training 5 days a week (heavy weights) and at least 4 days of cardio (20 minutes).  I'm confident that you can make BIG progress and changes to your body and health in that relatively short amount of time.  I have "only" dropped about 3 pound (112 to 109), but I have gained muscle, which is my goal anyway.  I haven't tested my body fat, so I'm not really sure about the number, however, my jeans fit perfectly again so I know I'm making progress (they were getting difficult to button!).  

I post progress pictures on my Instagram (@honeywerehome) and use #honeywerehealthy if you want to follow along.


5 minute treadmill warmup (speed at 4.0), then go directly to planks.  I really don't do any other abdominal exercises, but my stomach is definitely getting leaner and more toned. 

Monday - Shoulders, 3 planks (2 1/2 min each), Cardio- 20 minute treadmill sprints at 7.5 mph

Tuesday - Off (my son's birthday!)

Wednesday - Back, 2 planks (2 1/2 min each), Cardio- 20 minutes on stair mill at Level 60

Thursday - Biceps/Triceps, 3 planks (3 min, 3 min!!, 2 1/2 min)  Cardio- 20 minute treadmill sprints at 7.5 mph

Friday - Legs, Cardio- 20 minutes on stair mill at Level 60

Saturday - Off 

Sunday - Off



I'm still on THIS MEAL PLAN.  I am not hungry and my energy levels stay constant throughout the day.  I'm not normally very good about eating vegetables, but have had them consistently for the last two weeks.  It feels good knowing I'm fueling my body with whole, non-processed food.

7:00 a.m.  oatmeal, coffee with creamer

9:30 a.m.  protein shake (lately 1 scoop of protein powder with 8 oz 1% milk)

11:00 p.m.  lean protein and veggies

3:00 p.m.  lean protein and veggies or greek yogurt 

6:00 p.m. lean protein and veggies 

8:30-9  egg white omelet or greek yogurt 

I snacked on cashews and celery with natural peanut butter. 

For Greek yogurt, I mix about 1/2 cup of Fage Total 0% with Stonyfield Caramel.  I love the caramel flavor but it's a little sweet on it's own, plus the nutrition on the Fage is great.

I just started eating egg whites and cooked a dozen in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes- perfect!  I'm aiming to eat 4 a day.  

For something new with my veggies, I improvised a "confetti salad" to pair with my protein, but then I found I like to just mix it all together.  The salad is a combination of the following ingredients:

  • Tomatoes 
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame (steamed)
  • Corn (steamed)
  • Sliced Olives
  • Red Onion
  • Feta 
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice 
I just diced up the tomatoes, cucumber and onion and combined it with steamed edamame and corn (off the cob), added the feta, olive oil and lemon juice.  

I often eat at least one meal per day in the car- usually the 3:00 meal when I'm in the carpool line picking up my son from school, so lumping it all in together works perfectly. 

"Cheat" meals this week included: 

Monday- dark chocolate owl (melted chocolate poured into a mold) and dipped in a tablespoon of natural peanut butter 

Wednesday- tasting menu at a restaurant with my friend (tiny portions though and skipping dessert) with about 2 glasses of wine.

Thursday- a piece of lasagna and angle food cake (I made this meal for new parents to a beautiful baby girl and ate with them at the hospital) and 1 Ghiradehli carmel chocolate. 

Friday- Starbuck's iced tall 2-pump mocha, no whip (2 pumps is one less pump of chocolate than they normally put, I just like it better that way). 

Saturday- mimosa at brunch 


You can still enter to win a $100 Visa GIFTCARD on my post HERE.