FreeMotion Figure- Natalie’s Journey to the Stage (Competition Wrap Up)

“Congratulations on tackling this big project in a real and awesome way. You are such an example of hard work, courage, and doing what you say…three things that are hard to come by these days. I have loved reading your blog posts. You are honest, positive and always looking to help someone else with your words. I don’t think that a lot of people, while on a hard journey, are looking out for others, but that has been your quest. I hope that you are getting out of this just as much as you are giving to others because you deserve it.

So tomorrow, rock that tiny little bikini, pose those poses, flex those muscles, bask in the light, take lots of pictures, relish the moment, feel the accomplishment, and enjoy the thought of where you started and where you are now physically and mentally. Can a muscle competition change the world? Probably not…or can it? Because of this whole thing there has been a lot of self-mastery, sacrifice, focus, determination, motivation, dedication, learning and growing…and isn’t that why we are here in the first pace? You got this! Good luck tomorrow, I love you.”

This was the text message I received from my big sister the night before competition day. If you understood our relationship and my complete admiration for her, you would more fully understand how much her words meant to me.

I took her words to heart and SOAKED in every moment of that entire day! It started at 5am with my 4th layer of tan. YES, I typed that correctly…4th layer! The tan is actually a really important part to the process. When you stand on the stage under the lights, without the tan, your muscle definition would not be as easily seen. Think of ALL the hard work put in to build those muscles and not getting credit on the big day because you opted out of the silly dark tan! Lets face it though; I looked like Ross on the episode of Friends…I’m a 12!

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I came away with two 5th place trophies. It was nice to get some hardware that I could share with my girls, but whether it was first place, fifth place or no place…it wouldn’t have mattered! It’s just not why I did this competition. However, I can remember a moment when I was standing on stage and all I could hear is my curly head, 4-year old Mya cheering “Go Mommy”! Now that is why I did this competition.

A few things I feel that I have proven along the way:

1. You can absolutely build muscle training on FreeMotion Cable! I trained for this entire thing on FreeMotion Cable!

2. Striving for personal goals does not make you selfish!

This has really been a family journey. In ways it has even strengthen my marriage. My husband was incredibly supportive throughout this process. My girls got to watch mommy accomplish something really hard and I know that will have a positive effect of them. Sometimes as mommies we especially play the guilt game when we do anything for ourselves. I would challenge you to look at that a little differently and see it as an opportunity to grow and teach.

3. Disease, genetics, post baby, and all the other reasons we can’t have the body and health we desire DO NOT HAVE TO BE OUR STORY! All I need to post here is this one picture of my abs. These are Hashimoto, Hypothyroid, Two baby, and genetically challenged abs. In NO way is this a brag, but rather a IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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4. Work smarter not harder! Toward the end of my prep I changed up my cardio and allowed for more rest. This was when I really started to see and feel my body change. Sometimes we think we have to do more, more, more, when really we just have to get smarter and more efficient with what we are doing in the first place. When we over train or put too much stress on the body, our cortisol levels spike and with the presence of higher cortisol levels we tend to hold weight especially in the abs, butt and thighs. Rest and Recovery is so important!

5. There is not a “ONE DIET FITS ALL” fix. Do not get caught up in the diet crazes of today, tomorrow and yesterday. Find balance, figure out what works for your body and then STICK TO IT! The best diet you can choose is the one you can be consistent with and make a lifestyle. Most of the time that falls right into something called BALANCE.

I am just as excited for this all to come to an end, as I was to stand on the stage and accomplish my goal that day. I have come to realize how much I appreciate and crave balance in my life, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Tonight I had a BBQ with my hubby and girls on the deck and I didn’t have to weigh and measure my chicken or make a completely different meal. That’s balance. This past week my workouts consisted of hikes, runs, lifts, and circuit training. Nothing super specific but just what my body was craving. That’s balance. I’m your girl that loves fitness and staying active but craves a chocolate chip cookie every once in awhile. I eat it and enjoy it! Everyone keeps asking what is next and if I will compete again…NEVER say NEVER, but I’m hanging up my bedazzled bikini and clear heals for now. Hopefully the next time you see me, I will be 25 pounds heavier growing baby Vetica #3.

For those of you who have been following along and have been inspired by this process, I will challenge you to pick a goal that scares you a little, get clear about what that is, get clear about the steps and actions needed to accomplish it and then get to work! When you have accomplished it we will celebrate and I’ll meet you for pizza!

Thank you for all the love and support! What an incredible ride!

FreeMotion Figure- Natalies Journey to the Stage (PEAK WEEK)

PEAK WEEK is upon us! I see the finish line and oh do I feel it too! This next Saturday is the day to fulfill this commitment to myself. I set out about 20 week ago to accomplish competing in a Figure Competition. The process has NOT been an easy one, but I did not expect that to be the case. I wanted to do this to test my discipline and commitment level, to turn a dream into action, and complete something super challenging. To some it may seem a little silly, but I can honestly tell you I have learned more about myself through this process than I ever imagined.

A couple things I have learned a long the way…

1. There are MORE people in your cheering section than in the critic’s seats… At least that’s what I choose to focus on and believe. The support has been incredible. I get emails, calls and text messages on a daily basis. They have lifted my spirits on the tough days. This journey can definitely be an emotional one at times. Anything that pulls us out of our comfort zone this intensely will bring up emotions that don’t feel so great.

I specifically remember a day I was feeling completely out of my league and inadequate for this type of competition. It was that day I received a text from a friend thanking me for a blog post I had written that helped her through a tough time she was going through. ONE of my WHYs for doing this competition was to uplift and inspire! It felt so good to know it was helping at least one person that day!

2. STOP putting your dreams on hold until it’s a better time… I know we are all guilty of this. The famous “when my kids are grown I will…” or “When I retire I will…” or “When I’m making more money I will…” In the last 20 weeks I traveled about 10 times including two international trips for work. I planned and carried out the BIGGEST event I have ever put on. It was a 6-day FreeMotion Master Coach Summit, which literally consisted of 16-hour days! My husband bought a business and the list goes on and on. So many things that I could have let hold me back from accomplishing this competition. It’s so easy to fall into this trap. But what if RIGHT NOW is the perfect, perfect time to put action into our dreams. It was perfectly imperfect timing for me!

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3. FreeMotion Fitness Rocks my WORLD!…HEAR ME OUT! I have been fortunate to do most all my training on FreeMotion Fitness equipment. 20 weeks of intense workouts and my body feels amazing! Cable training is where it’s at because we can increase strength without the major ware and tare on our joints. In fact, the cable helps to increase the strength of the smaller stabilizing muscles, which completely decreased my chance of injury. PLUS, cable lets me define my path of movement, which decreases pain and injury as well. I built back my soccer booty on that FreeMotion Incline trainer and burned TONS of calories while doing it. With the combo of all of it, I was able to drop 6% body fat and increase my lean muscle mass! Overall, head to toe I am in the best shape of my life. I could say so much more on this topic and if you want to learn more, go to www.freemotionacademy.com.

4. In EVERYTHING we do in life the most important part is the people we meet and the relationships we build… It’s easy to get so focused on the things we have on our TO DO lists. The task we need to complete, the numbers we have to hit at work, the kid’s pick ups and drop offs, etc. Do we stop and foster what is most important, the connection with the amazing people in our lives.

This process of getting to the stage can be a very selfish one. I made a conscious effort through it all to be HUMAN. By Human, I mean connected. I wasn’t always perfect at it, but I was aware of the importance of it. I had the chance to make new friendships through this process. One of them was a teammate, Jessica, coached by my same coaches. So many times we connected and leaned on each other for support and encouragement. We get to stand on that stage together in a couple days and I feel just as proud of her as I do of myself.

We all have a story. We all have something to offer. What a shame it is to pass that by because we are too busy marking things off our TO DO lists.

5. Be kind through the failures… There are bound to be pitfalls. This process has not been a perfect one for me according to the “rules”, but really it’s been my perfect process. There were multiple times I practiced self-compassion. Thanks to my very patient husband who guided me through it many times. This lesson alone was worth this entire process. Fall, eat dirt, pick yourself up, move on! I got really good at this!

6. Do what you say you are going to do… Some days the ONLY reason I accomplished what I needed to accomplish was for this reason and this reason alone. I took the required actions every single day because I had made a commitment. The goal was not going to be accomplished just by talking about it. It required DAILY action.

I knew and understood this concept before this competition prep, but along the way it has become engrained in my soul. There is no other way!

I really could go on and on, but I will leave it at that for now.

I am beyond excited to accomplish this goal and just as excited for it to come to an end.  This week will be the toughest yet, but I feel more focused than ever! Im going to finish this thing strong! 

We plan to get lots of video and photos the day of the competition and I promise to share them here with all of you. I am beyond grateful for all of your support and especially the support of my FreeMotion Family.


Follow Natalie’s journey with these hashtags:
#NatsFreeMotionJourney #FreeMotionFigure


 

 

 

 

FreeMotion Figure- Natalie’s Journey to the Stage (FOUR WEEKS TO GO!)

FOUR WEEKS TO GO! You guys…I only have 4 weeks left before I get on that stage! I officially registered for the June 4th NPC show and will compete in both the open and novice figure categories.

It’s the final lap of the race, dead week before college finals, the last trimester of a pregnancy, the final sprint to the END! I am definitely feeling the intensity of it all and doing my best to maintain balance.

Its been a few weeks since my last blog post and I can assure you its not because I have given up. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I have been so busy doing the work; I haven’t had ten minutes to sit down and write about it. In fact, I need to hurry and get this done because I have an hour of fasted cardio waiting for me.

Here is one of my latest progress pictures. This process has been quite a humbling experience for me. Its unbelievable the amount of work and discipline I put in daily only to see such small changes. Many days it can be so emotionally and mentally draining. It’s definitely more than a physical journey.
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I have come a long way, and still have a LONG way to go to be “competition” ready. I am committed and I’m putting in the work EVERY SINGLE DAY! My nutrition is insane and I know it will get more and more disciplined. Lots of eggs and even more chicken!

A day in my life looks like this:

60 MINUTES CARDIO – 30 MINUTES INTERVAL AND 30 MINUTES STEADY STATE
MEAL 1: 8 EGG WHITES
MEAL 2: CHICKEN + GREENS
MEAL 3: CHICKEN + GREENS
WEIGHT LIFTING SESSION – DIFFERENT EACH DAY 5X WEEK
MEAL 4: CHICKEN + GREENS + HALF CUP OF RICE
MEAL 5: CHICKEN + GREENS
50 MINUTES CARIO – STEADY STATE 150 BPM
MEAL 6: 1 CUP MUSLCE EGG or 6 EGG WHITES

*On Saturdays I get to add in a little more rice and gluten free oats (high carb day).

Last week I had posing practice with my coaches and met them in person for the first time. I was so nervous and focused on what I was learning, that I completely forgot to get any photos or videos! The posing is an incredibly important part to the presentation on the stage and its actually more difficult than it looks.

After posing practice I headed to Utah Suit Exchange to try on some competition suits! Here are a few suits I tried on! Which one is your favorite?

As I continue to build strength and increase my muscular definition, the more and more I feel fortunate to be training on FreeMotion.

A couple blogs back I shared with you that I have had 5 surgeries on my right knee from a soccer injury AND I have also dislocated my right shoulder 2 times shortly after having my second baby.

Because of these injuries, I have experienced an imbalance of strength from one side vs. the other. Watch this video of my pull-ups…can you see which side I am dominating with?

Although I still have some work to do to create more balance in my strength, I know training on FreeMotion has benefited me A TON! If I were to be training in fixed isolated equipment, in other words equipment that dictates my path of motion, the dominate side will take over every single time creating more dysfunction…just as you saw in my pull-up video.

With FreeMotion cable I can train each arm and leg independently and I create the path of motion. Even better, research shows an increase in strength and balance with a decrease in pain on FreeMotion cable. All benefits I am enjoying! For many weight lifters, an increase in load means massive joint pain. I have experienced none of that because cable training encourages integrated strength, activating all of the smaller stabilizing muscles.

I know that sounded a bit like an advertisement, AND the reality is that this has been my honest experience.

Next week I have 40 FreeMotion Master Coaches coming for 6 days to attend our annual Master Coach Summit. We will be going from sun up to sun down. If I want to succeed that week and stay on my competition plan, I must prepare! So PREPARE I will!
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Follow Natalie’s journey with these hashtags:
#NatsFreeMotionJourney #FreeMotionFigure


 

 

 

 

 

FreeMotion Figure- Natalie’s Journey to the Stage (6 Weeks to Go!)

Shortly after I was married I was diagnosed with a Thyroid disorder called Hypothyroidism. Fast forward 6 years later after having my second baby girl and I was then told I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s, which also has to do with the thyroid. For those of you who do not know, the thyroid is basically the thermostat of our bodies. The thyroid is an extremely important hormonal gland that plays a major role in the metabolism, growth and maturation of the human body.

Now, you are probably thinking, “Why is she sharing this with us?”

Here’s why…

When we set a goal that we really, really want to achieve the first step must ALWAYS be to gain a FULL understanding of where you are at NOW. If you cannot even be clear about where you currently are, how do you expect to get to point B or in other words your GOAL! This is the first step!

Many people do not make it past point A because once you get CLEAR about what point A looks like, the old stories, dirty laundry, negative feelings and thoughts begin to surface. It will happen EVERY SINGLE TIME!! Because of FEAR or not knowing how to release those emotions and feelings, many people get stuck there!

I hear these types of comments ALL THE TIME! Here are a few examples…

“Im destined to be fat because my mom and dad have always been, and those are just the genetics I have been dealt.”

“Im getting old and I have no chance at being fit. Its all downhill from here.”

“I have a slow thyroid so I guess that means I have to be fat. Its makes it impossible to lose weight.”

“I know I wont ever feel good in my body again because of the damage done from having babies.”

“I have NO TIME to exercise.”

Its been made very obvious to all of us that life is not fair or even. We are all given different struggles and situations. The difference comes down to whether or not your are willing to take those very real struggles and put in the extra effort required to reach a goal in spite of them!

Moral of the story… Get comfortable being uncomfortable. There are some REALLY cool results and achievements on the other side!

I wish you could all spend one day with me and see this play out on a daily basis. There are some highs and there are definitely some lows! And when I mention lows, I’m not just talking about the amount of carbs currently allotted in my plan each day. Remember the LOVE LIST I talked about a few blog posts ago? That LOVE LIST provides the perfect Release Techniques for me. Those techniques get me through the moments when my dirty laundry starts to boil to the surface.

6 weeks left in this journey. I know it will only get more and more disciplined from here. I am committed and put in the work on a DAILY basis to achieve this goal I set out to accomplish back in February.

Here are a few current progress pics!

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Posing practice tomorrow with my awesome coaches, Jenny and Jeff Later and then off to try on competition suits! Ill tell you all about it in my next blog post!

 


Follow Natalie’s journey with these hashtags:
#NatsFreeMotionJourney #FreeMotionFigure


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FreeMotion Figure- Natalie’s Journey to the Stage (Seven weeks until GAME TIME!)

Over the last few weeks I have been traveling like a crazy lady for work. Travels to Salt Lake, Boston and Germany definitely required more self-discipline and preparation, but it was not impossible to stay on my diet and exercise routine. Here are a few things I did to stay on track…

I normally only drink one protein shake a day, but with travel it was a quick, easy way to get in my required protein. It saved me on the plane rides!

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EGGS! These two cartons represent my breakfast for 6 days and it only cost $4! Who said eating healthy has to be expensive? It was easy to have eggs each morning no matter where I was. My current breakfast consists of 1 whole egg and 5 egg whites! I can add the veggies I love.

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Yes, I was the crazy lady at the restaurants with the food scale and the measuring cup. Crazy or dedicated…that’s up for debate, but ultimately I am committed to results and ready to do what is required!!

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Here is a video I recorded while in Germany after a LONG workday at the FIBO trade show!

Travel offered me MANY, MANY reasons not to eat on plan or complete all my workouts, but instead I chose to frequent the little hotel gym every morning and every night. WHY, because I want results!

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Next week I have an appointment to try on competition suits. I am planning to narrow it down to a couple and then have you all choose the one I wear for the show. Look for that post this week!

Honestly, every week is getting progressively more and more difficult. This is by far one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life both physically and mentally. I have gained a whole new level of respect for the capabilities of my body and for my discipline. Currently I am lifting 5 days a week, fasted cardio 6 days a week for 50 minutes AND steady state cardio at 150 beats per minute for 50 minutes 6 days a week. Yes that means most days I am washing 3 sets of sweaty gym clothes!

Going STRONG and the countdown is ON!!!


Follow Natalie’s journey with these hashtags:
#NatsFreeMotionJourney #FreeMotionFigure