April 17. 2016

It all starts with…

Hey guys, I’m back and it’s another Monday,, another week; another new start. I am Cassie if anyone has forgotten, but how could you guys forget Cassandra?! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I know I am ready for a break. I work all week and weekend, 2 jobs, family issues, school and prep? Crazy stuff.

Anyways in my last blog I was struggling with the stress of life and it was affecting myself and my prep. I am still anxious and nervous about everything going on but it comes and goes. You have to have courage and put that into every decision or actions you decide to take, even if you are scared. I am sitting here typing up this blog watching Half-Price Paradise. It is a show about people that decide to leave their life and pick their dream home far away. What has been with me and these HGTV series? I’m on a roll! Can you guys tell I want a break or vacation? Even a rest day sounds so awesome. I have been at the gym every day for 4 months… 4 MONTHS!!! Give me a beach, a bikini, and somewhere to lay down and I will be happy.

So watching these shows and going through my own transformation, it really shows you are capable of what you set your mind to.

It all starts with an idea, a though, or even a dream.

I never thought I would be where I am today. I weighed 128 this morning and I honestly feel bloated and a little swollen. Rewind 7 months where I weighed 157lbs. Big change. No one thinks I was ever that big but I was. Nowadays though I feel like I look like a boy, but hey at least a cute little boy right?! So now I feel very comfortable at this weight day to day. I’m not tight enough for the stage just yet but we are working on that!

This has been a dream for me for so long and I always wanted to be here, and it’s happened. After competing I think I will really get to fully enjoy my accomplishment of how far I have come. As I watch these shows, I see these people create an idea or dream and make it happen! They have a goal and work towards it. I try to stay positive so much of the time but I know I fail time and time again, but I will always come back wanting more. To be better. Keep pushing.

Maybe it’s the dream or just wanting a vacation but I want to move far away. Florida, Texas, or even Arizona? I am much of a homebody so moving away from Kansas City would be a huge step for me. You never know, I could make something happen.

Well guys I have to go do all my cardio now, ugh. Another busy day. Workout, family birthday, work, sleep, and repeat! Enjoy your week friends and as cheesy as it sounds, don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. Don’t be afraid of falling down, because we will get back up and continue on!

Bye guys,

Cassie


April 14. 2016

A Day in the Life

Hey guys I’m back and it's Friday! Hope everyone has enjoyed their week and is ready for their weekend. I have to be honest, I cried every single day this week. That sounds like a bit much but it’s true. I try to hold it in but it just makes me panic or have anxiety so I cry and try to let it out. I cry about so many different things. My mom is moving away, my grandma went to the hospital, school, and my relationship with other people, etc. Notice how prep wasn’t on that list? Being one month out is scaring the living shit out of me. One day I think I will be ready then 10 minutes later I think not. I have small slips that I did not have before, eating extra chicken or oatmeal. I feel like I’m honestly failing or letting down everyone that believed in me. All these things are really important to me and have a huge effect on me.

I just wanted to hit on my fears of prep real quick. Now that I am a month out I am afraid I won’t be ready in time. I still have some weight to lose in my mid section and not much time left to tighten it. Plus when I am feeling unsteady on my diet it slows things down. I know this. I have been bad on my diet before. Although the extra chicken and oatmeal will not put me way back it is making me go from being ahead of the game to feeling like I need to catch up. What do I do? Do I give up again? No way in hell, I will be on a stage one way or another. If it’s for this show or another it will happen eventually.

Honestly at the end of the day no one really knows what you are going through. I preach positivity all day long but if you would have seen me this week you would not thought that because of my attitude. I'd rather let out my fears and stress then have them bottled up. Find someone to talk to about things. I think this is another reason why I am struggling. I have been dealing with some loneliness as of late. Too much time alone is bad, we are social creatures we need each other.

To end this week on a positive note. I got to see my mom on her birthday before she left. I did follow my plan 95% this week. I did every set, rep, and every minute of cardio. I made someone smile or laugh at least once this week, I think… I know the hard times will pass and I will get my groove back.

Have a good weekend friends, sorry for the short post. I was not feeling like myself today. I will be back on Monday in better spirits. Enjoy your time with your family and friends, be thankful for the blessings in life. Many others have things worse than us.

Bye guys,

-Cassie 

April 13. 2016

Life is a Marathon, not a Race

Hello friends! Good morning and great day!

Yesterday I was watching a video on youtube and something a gentleman said in the video stuck with me. He said, it's a marathon, not a race. He was speaking in regards to powerlifting, but the statement rings true to all aspects of life and got me thinking. 

As human beings, and really as people of the United States (if you're from the US), we tend to have the mentality that things need to happen in quite a rapid fashion. Everywhere you look there's people in a hurry. We want everything to happen instantaneously, instead of the eventual gratifying payoff. 

Really let's look at our society as a whole. Fast food, fast cars, fat loss gimmicks that work better than the rest, fitness plans that are guaranteed to get you shredded in 8 weeks or less! Hell even our internet isn't fast enough for us. We crave that quick and easy route. I say to you now, this a cop out. You don't need that quick release, that fast satisfaction. What you need is the building blocks of a solid foundation. The pyramids were not built in a day, and you can't be either. Anything worth having, is worth waiting for, worth fighting for, and worth the journey. 

Lately I've been in a rut myself, I got into that, hurry up mentality. I am dropping weight for a bodybuilding show and had become overly frustrated that my weight isn't moving. For the life of me, I could not understand what I was doing wrong. So what did I do? Not a damn thing, that's what. I stuck to my plan and continued on, having faith in what was written for me and not giving up. Guess what, I lost four pounds this week. Four! It's only Wednesday. So my body decided to hold on for two weeks and then drop all at once. Here I was all frustrated and not giving myself the time I needed to change. 

When I go to the gym, it's like anything I do in life, I pace myself. I go in with a purpose, but I know if I lift too fast, or too heavy, my entire workout will not be productive and I'll run out of energy and be angry with myself for having done so. For instance, yesterday was my leg day. For the last two weeks, after my leg days I have felt horrible. I believe this was caused by me wanting to just go all out and blast myself, especially since I hadn't been dropping weight. Yesterday, I decided to limit myself to six exercises, but good ones that work well for me. After my workout, I did not feel like death. I felt great and guess what, I dropped a pound last night for the third night in a row (first night I dropped 2).

My point is that you do not have to always go balls to the wall with everything in life. People have commented to me before "you must spend hours each day in the gym". They are astonished to find I only lift for about 45 minutes total. In fact, a lot of times I don't think people believe me. But I do this because I know each day matters, not just that one day of pumping iron and changing my physique then and there. It doesn't work like that. Consistency is what works. 

Each day of my life is a new challenge and a chance to improve myself. I must remind myself that everything does not happen all at once. There is no instant gratification, like I crave, like many, if not all of us crave. Keep moving forward and never backwards, that's how it's done. If you fall, get back up, it's that simple. 

I'll use another example. School work. My daughter has trouble doing her school projects, and it's because she waits until the very last minutes. Then she'll be extremely upset with herself and wonder where she went wrong. Well, I'll explain to her that all she needs to do to correct the issue next time is simply take fifteen or twenty minutes out of each day and work on that project, then it will not all cascade upon her and overwhelm her to the point of giving up. 

If you try to do it all at once, you are doomed to fail. It's the cold hard truth. You want to get slimmer and lose twenty pounds. Fantastic! It's going to take time. Some folks lose slower than others. Women in particular can have trouble in this area due to hormone issues or other issues, but men are not exempt. I've work with both men and women who have been frustrated by lack of progress and have to remind them that it will happen if they just keep pushing. 

So know this and remember it, I promise it will help you in life. You can, and you will achieve you goal if you simply take your time, stay the course, and do not give up on yourself. That's all you need to do. There is no perfect formula in life and regardless of what the latest fitness trend tells you, it's the old methods that seem to work the best. 

Enjoy today and the rest of this week and remember you if you can dream it, you can achieve it. I've said that many times. I love it. It motivates me and I hope it does you as well.


Thanks so much! Remember if you have any fitness or nutrition questions, you can email me direct or go on our home page and fill out our basic fitness form. 


Adam Hartley

Co-Owner/Coach Custom Fitness Consulting

ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com 

April 11. 2016

Buff Babes Do It Best

“Now you don’t want to get too big?” Hey guys, or should I say ladies! To all of my favorite fit female freaks this post is for you. So gentlemen, buckle up and settle into the passenger seat because today it’s about the girl gains!

Happy Monday! One week closer to showtime for me. Every day and week we get closer and I have really been trying to just to follow my plan and give what I can that day, then repeat. This last week has been hard. It felt like I'd been kicked right in the head. Trust me it doesn’t feel good! When I was 11 years old I was kicked in the head by a horse so it is really not a comfortable experience if I am referencing it to that. I know my progress is coming though,so I just keep pushing. Some days I love the worn feeling, other nights I am literally laying in my bed at 2 in the morning trying to keep myself from driving to the store to get candy, the process can be brutal.

I am sure that some of you girls have been told “don’t get too muscular”. Usually by other friend or family member that is not into the weight training as much as you or I. What if I want to be big? I usually hear this from men also. Do I seem that intimidating?

Be what you want to be and don’t give a hoot about other people’s opinions. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. If you want to be covered in tattoo, do it! If you want to have crazy hair, what is stopping you? The only doubt you place in your head is from other’s negative comments. Never try to be what someone else thinks is attractive or beautiful, be you and rock it. If I am feeling like shit during prep, you will see me at the gym in a huge T shirt and oversized sweatpants with no make-up on, break outs on my face and I am still there to grind and push. I do not care that I go to a high end gym. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to get dressed up once a week and go out. I particularly do not live like that every day, because I don’t enjoy it.

There are so many unneeded comments that we receive though. Beginning of my prep I was told do not “get too big now” or “go eat something”. It is crazy how things change. I personally get offended when I get called small or especially skinny. Which has been happening a lot lately. On a side note, the last few weeks my weight hasn’t really moved but I have gotten smaller and tighter. It is not all about the scale girls and I have to tell myself this a lot! Back to what I was saying though, I have been trying to build and stay full for a while so I don’t look like a skinny thing on stage. I love the buff look and I want that! To any guy that feels emasculated by this, sorry not sorry go lift some weights bro! I do what I want and refer back to my last post about my comment of being single.

I want us women to have that charisma and confidence. We all struggle with it. Physically, we are the weaker sex so it is easier to feel down on ourselves. Throw in some hard training and hormone influxes and you have the best homemade recipe for a bomb.

The take away from today’s blog is be the best you. If you are a girl that wants to be a buff girl, work for it and rock that shit! Even if you are not where you want to be today keep working for it. The only reason something can ever be out of our reach is when we give up and stop working for it.

Have a good week friends I will be back on Friday!

-Cassie

April 7. 2016

Seeing Your Potential

Hello and good day peeps! It’s Cassie again and it’s Friday! I hope everyone enjoyed their week and maybe have some fun plans this weekend. In my spare time I have been, curled up in my bed with five different drinks beside me while watching Flip or Flop or Fixer Upper. Anybody else like to get crafty? I wish I could afford to do little projects. Just letting your imagination go and making something beautiful, it’s amazing to me.

So today I want to kind of give you guys a pep talk of sorts. This topic doesn’t really pertain to my prep or fitness but just life in general. Everyone has their flaws. If you do not agree with that statement and do not think you have things to work on, stop reading right here. This blog is not for you, so do not waste your time. We are all damaged in some way. Some of us may just have bumps and bruises while others have battle wounds and scars. Life can be luck of the draw, and we all have had obstacles we have gone through to get where we are today.

Gross, hideous, ugly creatures that is what humans are and how we view ourselves. Yes that is a little abrasive but this is what I believe and my view. The worst part is most of us will view each other this way and not just ourselves. For example, we will always tend to point out someone’s weakness. Something that bothers me personally is when I get asked constantly why I am not dating or “seeing someone”. Why do I have to be in a relationship? Nothing is wrong with me because I do not have a boyfriend. The worst part is the puzzled look they give me after I say this exact remark. Ugh whatever!

Can you tell I have been in my feelings lately? Let’s be frank guys Cassandra is always emotional.

Lately during movies and TV shows, I cannot focus. You may get five to ten minutes of my time before I start scrolling through my phone looking at meaningless things. So when I actually sat down and watched a full episode of Flip or Flop, I was hooked. In one day I watched a whole season on Netflix. By the way, for everyone who doesn’t know, Flip or Flop is about a couple that buys homes that are pretty much in ruins and turns the house into something amazing.

That is the mentality I want for myself, and also everyone around! We are all damaged and need repair. With time and positive effort we will achieve our goals. It doesn’t always work how we want it but with that go getter attitude we will make it happen! Things will happen that we did not know we were capable of.

This is where I can relate to my prep/fitness journey! For those of you that have read my previous blogs, I have experienced some nasty lows. I just was in a funk and no one wanted to be around me. My mindset was looking at all the negatives and thinking of all things I had to do to accomplish my goals. No I did not just wake up and decide I am going to be happy and forget the rest, I wish it happened like that, it would save a lot of energy I had used towards being stressed. It took me checking myself, which I continue to do on a daily basis. No I am not positive or happy all the time but why not at least try to make that happen?!

Now that I am mainly in a positive mood I really enjoy looking back and taking pride in how far I have come. It really is cool to see your own transformation and to be proud of it is just icing on the cake, I am talking about the cake I will be getting after my show! If we look at the bumps and bruises or thing we need to get done, I believe that it will just cause more issues and not get to the root of the problem.

In Flip or Flop, they see these destroyed houses and they want them! They want the ones with the problems and sometimes they have to get down into the frame work of the house to make sure that the house is not just going to be pretty on the outside, but it will be stable and be safe for people to live in.

To wrap things up, we have to work on things deep down to be truly beautiful. See the potential in yourselves because we are all capable of greatness. Have a good weekend friends!

Please continue the love and support of following my journey at our Custom Fitness Consulting Facebook page and my personal Instagram @bicepbabe

-Cassie

April 6. 2016

Living with a Bodybuilder

Hello friends.

Today I thought I'd talk about a bit of struggle. I don't seem to talk about that aspect as much and it may seem as if I do not have any struggles. This is far from the truth.

Deciding to be a bodybuilder was something that just kind of happened to me. I've never really had that inclination in life or thought as a youth that I wanted to do that. Most of the folks I've met followed bodybuilding very closely throughout their life, and have always wanted to be one. So it's odd to me that I just kind of morphed into this competitor. 

The changes you go through on a day to day basis are sometimes very difficult. Mentally for me more than physically. I can handle almost anything you'd throw at me physically as I have a very high pain tolerance. Often times though, my mental capacity to handle stress in a prep diet is very low. When I'm preparing for a show, I get edgy, agitated, cranky, and sometimes just right out mean.

Does this mean I'm actually not a nice guy? No. It means my body is fighting me in a way that I simply am struggling with on a level many will never face or choose not to face. It is a choice by the way. :)

Something you have to know as a bodybuilder or really as any competitor is your threshold of tolerance. Tolerance for yourself, for those around you and for just about anything really. I have found that I have a almost zero tolerance mode that I can get into. A funk if you will. It's frustrating because you get angry and you don't know why. A lot of it has to do with your blood sugar, or at least in my case it does. 

Last night, I came back from my leg workout, and I was a space cadet. Not in the "I can't think like a normal person" sense, but in the sense that things weren't firing correctly in my brain. I ate my dinner, and sat. I continued to zone in and out, in and out, and wasn't feeling right. At one point I felt sick to my stomach, so I laid down. After nothing seemed to help and thirty minutes or so had passed, I decided to take my blood sugar. My blood sugar was a hair over fifty. 

Now if you know anything about blood sugar, you will know this is not a good state to be in. My blood sugar being that low indicates something that I have suspected for years. I have exercise induced hypoglycemia. 

Now this does not happen to me every single time I hit the gym. If it did, trust me, I would not be in a prep for a bodybuilding show. It does however happen to me when I overdo it. Some people believe there isn't such a thing as overtraining, but each person is different and I for one can overtrain and get into a bit of a mess from it. 

Now to remedy this situation, after finding the strength to move around and do what needed to be done, I took a spoonful of honey and downed it. I don't have any glucose tabs on hand and this is the only thing I could logically think of doing. It worked. It elevated my blood sugar to a healthy level and my brain kicked in. Incident over. 

What I went through and what I've been through is entirely avoidable and I'm not trying to scare anyone out there with my story. What I'm trying to do is educate you. Timing your carbohydrates around your workouts is key to this not occurring. I do take a carb replacement drink after a workout but if I've completely diminished all my energy stores this is simply not going to cut it. So what can you do?

My issue is this. I have three children whom I love to pieces. I eat every three or so hours, but my noon to afternoon meal has had to be pushed out even longer. Sometimes I won't get to eat it for four and a half hours. My body at this point begins to go nuts looking for that energy source. The reason I've had this predicament is because I have to structure my workouts around when my gym has daycare available. So in order to get it in, I wait until after my workout to eat. But at what cost. Obviously on leg days it's not smart to do for me. 

So for me to avoid this problem I have to eat before my workout, which I know and just have been too stubborn to do. Old habits are hard to break. It's as simple as that. Making that one small change will level me and I'll be fine. No more issues. But when you get into prep brain, as I like to call it, you don't always think logically until it's a bit too late and say "what did I just do and why"?

So living with a bodybuilder or any competitor can be trying. My wife has seen her fair share of ups and downs. I don't experience them alone unfortunately. I go from hanger to angry. From sad to depressed. From happy to overly happy. It just depends. It's a rollercoaster sometimes. But guess what, despite its setbacks, I love what I do. I thrive on the challenge and the suffering. 

My mindset is, if I can get through this, I can get through anything and that's how I have approached live for the last almost decade. It builds a stronger you to go through a hardship even if you are the reason you are having that hardship. I know that after my show, regardless of if I win, I will feel the greatest sense of accomplishment there is. I have proven again to myself that I can do what many feel impossible. I can laugh in the face of pain and anguish. I can ignore the hunger pains. I can destroy myself in the gym to create better symmetry and bring a better package. It's all mind over matter. I can win and I have won. I've won at life and I will continue to win at life as long as I do not give up.

So living with a bodybuilder or any competitor can be a pain the butt. We know this and I for one am grateful for my loving wife and family for enduring me. My ups and downs are temporary and will bring me closer to my goals. If you are someone who lives with a bodybuilder, just know that they most likely will have a point of breaking down, it happens to almost everyone. It doesn't mean they don't love and respect those around them, it means they are having a hard time and just need some consideration and maybe a quick kick in the ass. Hah. 

Bodybuilding is not for everyone, but I love it and it's who I have become. To better ourselves we have to overcome obstacles. I am working everyday to do just this. 

Now it's time to get some more active release therapy done and continue on my path, my journey! 

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful day and gets out into that gorgeous weather! It's been nice here in Kansas, so enjoy it while you can!!!


Thank you all!


Adam Hartley

Co-Owner/Coach Custom Fitness Consulting

email me at ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com for information on nutrition and exercise plans

Instagram Adam_Hartley_CFC

April 4. 2016

My name is Cassandra

Hello to my fellow health and fit enthusiasts I am sitting down at home at 8 o clock at night with a 32oz mug of coffee ready to bang out this blog to start your week off right! It is late and I am feeling worn. I have been running around all weekend but we are go getters friends! No excuses, we have goals to achieve. In the face of being busy, for once I didn’t feel stressed with all the chaos. I fully enjoyed every moment with everyone I got to see no matter the circumstance. Literally have gotten to the point though in my prep that my favorite thing to look at in the grocery store, it isn’t food weirdly enough, it is coffee or other zero calorie water enhancers.

Today I want to know from you…..

What truly motivates you? What motivates you go to your job, school, or gym? If you go to school, work, or workout because you have to, in my opinion, your mindset is wrong. I had a good conversation with a friend that is a power lifter before. We were talking about nutrition. He does not eat any processed foods and honestly eats cleaner than anyone I know. He is a power lifter though, like he doesn’t have to eat super clean to succeed at his sport. He is not being judged on his look. Anyways I asked him how he doesn’t crave any foods and why. He went on to inform me he no longer craves them. After that I asked him how he explains his diet to others, keep in mind he doesn’t even go out to a restaurant to eat; everything he eats is what he has bought and cooked. This was a few months ago and I was really struggling with people giving me a hard time about what I ate, it caused me stress. It drove me crazy! How does he tell people he can’t eat certain food? And that’s where he corrected me. It wasn’t that he couldn’t eat it, it’s that he chose not to.

It is in our heads, truly training our minds from taking something negative and changing it into something positive. During my prep I have constantly been thinking about things I need to work on and dismissing all the progress I made because I became engulfed with my flaws. We are not perfect. I say that and am sitting here reading that phrase in my head deeply thinking about it. Read it and reread it.

For example, I have looked at other competitors and am like dude she is already lean and she is this far out or look how buff she is. I wish I was like that. Blah, blah, blah… throwing myself a small pity party. That pity party turned into a fit and for a while I was viewing everything that happened in my life in such a manner it caused anxiety. Which would snowball into another situation in my life that had nothing to do with the problem.

What I am trying to say guys is find acceptance in yourself and what you are doing. I don’t have to do this, I chose to. Do not look elsewhere for motivation, you'll find the best inspiration from within.

Have a great week friends and go out and crush your goals!

-Cassie Ross

Instagram: Bicepbabe

Facebook: Custom Fitness Consulting  

April 1. 2016

Competitor Level: Hungry

So friends guess what day it is?! Friday! We have survived another week of prep and diet land, my funeral has been postponed to a later date. Please stay tuned. Anyways I hope everyone enjoyed their week and if not it’s the weekend and spring is coming which means sunshine, tan, and bikini. All of those I need right now. Especially the tan, if you haven’t seen my current check in photos let’s just say we are going to see if I go transparent by show day. Maybe I should do a before and after when I get my tan? Can anyone tell I just worked out and I am depleted? I am rambling…

Let’s proceed to the point of this blog. Hunger. I would say 95% of competitors battle with fighting their stomach and giving in to just a little more food. The other 5% are the people who burn through everything and have to eat more. Lucky freaks! Even if you are not a competitor you get hungry so this pertains to everyone.

I am going to give my thoughts, obviously, as a competitor.

I get 6 small meals a day. As time goes on, show is coming up (booked the hotel room today! so excited!), my food becomes less with that my workouts become more rigorous. To summarize my output is more than my input, which leads to hunger.

This is necessary for me to get lean and tight look for the stage, it is also temporary. After the show I get more food again. Keep in mind I am also being closely watched by a coach and I stay in touch with my team, it is monitored. So for people that say oh your starving yourself… um no. That’s why I have been prepping so longer, to set my body up to handle this.

Most of my prep I haven’t been too hungry. Which made it easy for me. I go through bouts of weakness and feeling kind of wimpy but never really hungry. Now though, it hit me like a freight train! When I got my nutrition update this week I outright laughed. Then I was like OK let’s do this! Honestly the hard time is at night, when you are out of food for the day or you wake up at 2 in the morning because your stomach is cramping from being empty. I keep a gallon next to my bed so when I roll over and am hungry I am ready to start chugging. Tea, coffee, and stevia are my life saviors at this point.

But with hunger comes cravings. When lying in bed at night, tummy full of water, you will find me with a Disney movie turned on my TV, phone in hand scrolling through pictures of oatmeal. I know I am weird. My cravings include chicken, peanut butter, and oatmeal. I do get chicken and oatmeal during my prep just not in the amount I want…(insert sad face).

But also with the hunger I can get a little irritated on the topic of food. Most people that get a refeed, they tend to look forward to it. I do not. It makes me hungrier and uncomfortably hot. Every meal I eat I tend to isolate myself from others and enjoy the 5 seconds before it is gone. When people talk about what they are going to have for their refeed meal or if I enjoyed mine I get cranky. If I am with someone and I have to eat around them and they try to talk to me I tend to glare at them. Kind of like an animal. I know that's not good. Oops sorry guys hate to tell you I am not perfect here.

To wrap it up though, the hunger is a good sign. Means I am starting to get lean and really burn off fat! I tell myself when I am done with food for the day or a meal, you will get to eat again, and everything is going to be fine. It’s an inner battle more than anything.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and support me as I am 6 weeks out! The grind is happening and here is my time to push and see what we can do. Have a good weekend everyone!

Follow my journey on Custom Fitness Consulting

Instagram @bicepbabe

-Cassie

March 30. 2016

We are Our Own Worst Enemy

Good morning friends.

Something that's always on my mind is how I have the ability to completely sabotage myself. When I'm trying to accomplish something, no matter what it is, I have the ability to completely destroy that something or derail it so to speak. This thought comes to me when I am obsessing about silly things that do not matter. 

When you are a person who is into fitness, and it is actually a huge part of your life, your livelihood, you can tend to over analyze your personal situation. I'll find myself weighing in sometimes three times a day. Or thinking I'm overeating, when in fact I'm in a deficit. I get in my own head and say "you could do more". 

That is true in a sense, you can always do more, but sometimes it's detrimental to your process as a person or as a bodybuilder (in my case). 

The scale is a great tool and very useful making a weight on stage. Other than that, it's garbage. There are days I'll weigh lighter in the mornings, and heavier in the evenings, and sometimes the opposite. So what really is the scale telling me? It's telling me I fluctuate water like crazy. Other than that, not much. But many of us, including myself, allow this tool to become quite a negative thing.

Now for someone like myself, my level of OCD most likely will make it very difficult to break that habit. For those of you out there who are just starting your fitness journey, listen closely. The scale is great, but it does not really matter. I'd almost tell you to throw it in the trash. Unless of course you are one of those people trying to make a certain weight for a competition of some sort. 

It gets in your head too much and I've seen with people I've trained over the years, that they obsess just like I do with that number.

Now most people are discounting the fact that they fit in a pair of jeans they couldn't for the last ten years or that they don't look as wide around their midsection in the mirror. Instead they solely focus on that number from that little tool. 

When we do this, we are setting ourselves up for failure.  The average person, doesn't really even seem to understand when the proper times of day are to weigh, I see it all the time in the gym. After a workout is a terrible time to weigh yourself. You body is most likely carrying excess inflammation from the workout and you'll most likely be heavier. On top of that the scales themselves are never properly calibrated and can be off five to ten pounds at any given moment. 

So what's the point in using a scale? I'd say there isn't much of one, other than those competing like I previously mentioned. The best way to measure your progress is the mirror and your clothes. You can also get your body fat measured using a dexa scan or other various methods if you really want to be technical about it. Even that though, doesn't matter as much to the average person.

Food. Food is another thing we completely screw our minds over with. It's a popular belief that if you eat less, you'll weigh less. There have been studies upon studies that have scientifically show this is not how the body's metabolism works. Also, if you talk to most folks who are in great shape, they will tell you they actually eat quite a bit. 

Right now I'm eating almost 2400 calories. I eat six times a day and drink a ton of water. This keeps things moving. But despite my best effort and despite the sheer amount of information at one's disposal, folks will continue to eat one time a day or two. What this does is stall your metabolism. When you only eat a few times a day, and you are pushing in a bunch of junk food, your body is going to think it's starving. When your body is starving it will hang onto as much as it can to prevent you from actually starving. 

Now there are people who are have the ability to get away with eating junk or eating very little. It's kind of an anomaly and you cannot base your life around what they do. For the average person, this simple does not and will not work. Even if it did, it's not healthy in the least. You body needs vital nutrients and in order to be a success you've got to allow yourself to eat. 

Weight loss or weight gain is a process that takes time. It does not happen overnight, even though many would like it to. It's a journey and sometimes a rollercoaster. You have to stay on the ride until the end. 

So we get in our own heads sometimes. I do it a lot, and I know many others who do. We get into this mindset of "I'm not doing enough" or "I should not have done this or that". We have to take stock of what we've accomplished thus far, be proud of it and move forward. There are hiccups usually in weight loss or gain, that's ok. It happens. The worst thing you can do though is turn it into something more than it is. 

What I'm trying to get at here with this blog today is very simple. Do not, I repeat do not, overthink your fitness goals. If you look too far ahead, you are doomed to obsess and mostly likely fail. Not a lot of people out there can wrap their brain around losing a hundred pounds, but they can ten or twenty. Baby step it. There's nothing wrong with that. Take each day as it comes and stay on the path. If you fall off the path, don't overanalyze and have a complete melt down. Pick yourself up, shake that stress off and keep moving forward. 

With motivation and determination comes great accomplishments in life. All you need is a little bit of both and you can move mountains. 

Today, try and smile about all you've done. Be happy with who you are and know who you'd like to become and who you will become with just a little effort and faith. 

I hope everyone has an amazing week and enjoyed their Easter holiday break (if you got one)! 

Stay passionate, stay true to yourself and never give up.

Thank you so much,

Adam Hartley

Co-Owner Custom Fitness Consulting
ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com

March 27. 2016

Prep Update: 7 weeks out


Hey guys hope everyone had a great Easter! Enjoyed some family time and got to relax, it is very important. So like I promised I am giving you guys a brief prep update where I stand 7 weeks out.

I am currently sitting at about 130 lbs and about 14% body fat.

I still have a lot of conditioning I need to work on so I can actually get lean! I am not going to lie the fear kicks in at points throughout the week and it gives me such anxiety. These next few weeks my goal is conditioning and keeping my glutes full. I do not have very large developed muscles so I need to keep them full as much as possible while trying to lean down so they will pop. My ultimate goal is to actually start seeing my hamstrings and abs. Those two are so hard to get for me! We are learning how my body reacts as we go. For example, it takes me a lot longer to lean down so I have to endure higher amounts of cardio and more strict diet to get the desired look. It so hard and I struggle at it. This past Saturday I had more food then I was supposed to. I fell off. I let myself and everyone supporting me down. I can’t tell you how upset it made me. I literally laid in my bed and cried afterward. This process is not for the faint heart. Props to anyone that thinks prep is easy.

The show is fast approaching and these next few weeks are make or break. Let’s set our mind right and focus on our goals.

I know this post was short but there really doesn’t need to be any over analyzing right now. Especially since I over analyze everything on my own already! Each meal and each workout counts. Take everything as it comes and try to let go of things you cannot change.

Thanks for taking the time for reading guys I will be back to talk this Friday! Hope everyone has a great week.


-Cassie



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