June 1. 2016

Breaking Through

Good morning everyone! I hope today has been amazing for you so far!

I thought I'd talk a bit about something that challenges me and I'm sure many other. That something is breaking out of a rut and getting through it. 
 
Since I've been lifting/exercising for quite some time, I've found that I'll reach a point where I feel like "I just don't want to do this" or "what is the point". Funny right? Someone who works in the fitness industry feels like so many others do from time to time. Well like everyone else, I'm human and I do question things even if they are blatantly obviously on occasion.

When I get into this mindset (what I like to call stinking thinking), I tend to have some other conflict going on in my life that I am blissfully unaware of the effects it's having on me. For instance, if I've get an overload of things to do in a day, it will affect the way I feel about my workout. Why? Well probably for many reason, the best that I can think of though is my response to stress. I admittedly have some stress response issue. Especially during a cut for a show like I'm doing right now. But do I let this stop me? No. I simply fight that urge to give up or rather give up on training for the day.

Sometimes we do need a break, it's true. Overtraining is possible, despite many that will tell you it's a myth. I say to that, I get exercise induced hypoglycemia. I know about overtraining. Other times we just need to believe in ourselves and fight the good fight. We must not give into that nagging voice in the back of our heads that is telling us to slow down or to stop. It's almost all mental.

Yesterday I experienced this and it's not the first time and it won't be the last. While I was working out, I was in a terrible mood and just did not want to be there. I had reached a point that I needed desperately to break through. Well for this time around, it was simply because I'm low on calories, I'm not sleeping well, and I am training hard everyday of the week. So you factor those things into the equation and it's no wonder I felt like that. But a funny thing happened, I still did it. I pushed through and gave it my all. 

Today because I gave it my all, I dropped down in weight that brings me so much closer to my goal of being on stage. So I am grateful that I was able to overcome that voice and push through the best that I could.

Those of you out there that don't compete, you will have other obstacles. If it were easy, then it wouldn't be fun! It wouldn't be worth it either. I believe that anything in life worth having is worth fighting for. You to can overcome the obstacles and break through your mental boundaries. Now don't get me wrong, there are sometimes physical limitations with people. I'm not talking about those, that's an entirely different issue. I'm talking about mind over matter.

If you believe it, you can achieve it. 

Staying in shape and being healthy is something I am passionate about. I want to have a long and wonderful life, and this is one of the many pieces to that great puzzle. In order to succeed and continue being a success, I must always challenge myself and not listen to the negative thoughts that enter my mind and try to deter me. As human beings we are stronger than that. We can do just about any darn thing we want if we really put our all into it. 

So today, fight for what you believe in. Fight for that personal happiness. Fight for your health. Above all, never, ever give up on yourself. I believe in you and you can believe in yourself as well. You just have to smile and put your mind to it.

Have a wonderful day folks! It's gorgeous outside here and I'm going to have some fun!!!

Take care,

Adam Hartley

Co-Owner/Coach Custom Fitness Consulting
ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com
May 30. 2016

Passion for Life

Hey guys, happy Memorial Day! What a great weekend it has been. I can’t remember the last time I have enjoyed some time to relax and spend with those around me. It started Friday while I was waiting tables at work and I had a party. The party consisted of a family from all across the country that were in town for a wedding, they were there to celebrate and I couldn’t imagine happier people. This put me in a great mood. The next day, Saturday, I slept in and had an amazing workout, one I haven’t in a while. Today, Sunday, I got to bring out Casper the ghost, myself, and sit pool side with friends. So all and all a great weekend, and it isn’t even over.

My thoughts for today were to talk about focusing on the now. I draw out these plans or have these big dreams I want to achieve that I can forget the steps you have to take. As you guys know I have been trying to get the groove of this new lifestyle, it is hard for me to say that I am comfortable with this. I am excited for the new journey but try telling a girl that lost 32lbs to get on stage that now she needs to gain weight back? It is scary and uncharted territory I have never been in. I really struggle with letting the thought of putting weight back on go. So I do what my coach says every day, eat and train. If I need to change anything then I do so. Quit overthinking Cassandra and relax!

This is where the “relax” comes into play. Going back to being uncomfortable, it is bikini season and I am gaining weight… um really what? Being at the pool today I was self-conscious of how I looked but I did not let it ruin my time.

So here’s the task at hand: Build Muscle.

Requirement: Upping weight, calories, and strength.

Envision your goal, mine is to build muscle, but don’t let this blind you from the other great things of life. As hard as it is for me to let go, those are the times were I go enjoy everything around me. I am not stressed, anxious, or in a negative mood so I enjoy other aspects of life. It is freeing your mind to all the possibilities and honestly quite liberating.

Steps

  1. Make a goal

  2. Follow the steps to that goal

  3. Enjoy your life

It is that simple that no overthinking is needed. Do what makes you happy and what you love, but embrace the whole experience. At the end of the day if you’re chasing your dream or what you are passionate about and you are unhappy throughout the journey then do you honestly really love what you are doing?

Enjoy the downtime this holiday, relax, and eat all the foods especially for me! After the downtime it will be grind time again! You guys already know that.

Until next time

Cassie

May 26. 2016

My Never Ending Grind

Hey friends I am back although it’s actually Wednesday and not the usual Thursday that I sit down to write. I don’t know, thought I would let you guys know how life been now and not keep you guys anxiously waiting! I am currently not in school this summer just working and training really, besides when I am running around doing other errands or seeing family. Sometimes I get to sit down, sometimes I don’t it just depends. My mom moved up to Omaha this past weekend which is sad for me. I am pretty close with my mom and I will miss her, but this is a new adventure for her.

So I talked about my uncomfortable bloat earlier this week. It has gone down and I feel better in that part, but dang guys I am struggling with this reverse diet. It is kicking my little booty! I had one of those days at the gym if someone looked at me the wrong way I thought I was going to go after them… not really just not a day to mess with me, you know? Or at times I would be staring at the weights and start crying. The mental struggle in this prep is extremely difficult. The emotional and physical taxation you put on yourself can be pretty extreme. Also I was so hungry I thought I would be sick, you know when your stomach is just eating at you? So I was angry, sad, and hungry… wow I hit the trifecta. Recipe for a Cassandra disaster.

When you get hungry and struggle with resting at night there isn’t much energy for weight training, but I still like to work out so I enjoy cardio more now than weights. I never thought I would be that girl. But I am still low calorie/ low carb diet and until I have the calories back I just have to bear down through these bad workouts. It may be just something I have trouble figuring out but I guess I thought after the show it would be a little easier or I would feel more rested. I feel like I took a week off and gained some weight, which I am not proud about because for the most part I took one day off then was back on my diet. How did I gain the weight so easy? What is going to happen if I increase calories? I try to separate myself from the thought of food, I do love my food but sometimes it can just control our minds. We all have to eat to live, but when you get to the point where you just want to binge eat that is a problem. I know I can be stronger when it comes to these things so I just do what I am told. If I have to wait for an off season to feel strong again then that’s my price I have to pay. Trust the plan and trust my coach.

Are you willing to do what it takes? If you guys are friends with me on Facebook you probably see my posts about the gym. Most of the time when I sit down to write to you guys I am simply expressing how I feel. In any moment there may be different feelings. I do question myself if I want to give up at times, if this is worth it. If I always had the answers and never struggled then either I am not pushing myself or I am not passionate about this, which I believe I am both and guess what, I wake up the next day and live my life how I chose to. Eat, train, work, and repeat.

Our pain is temporary, and the pain makes it so as to remind us we are human. Without emotions, what would we be? Not human. What is easy to us today at one time may have been a struggle, so I could look back at this and think why was I feeling this way? By the time I am done writing my feelings may change, we are susceptible to change and more growth. This isn’t hard, it's how you handle the situation.

I am going to list three positive of mine this week to always remind myself.

  1. I had very positive feedback from the judges. The judge’s main critiques were to fix my tan, I had some issues, and have fuller leaner package which will come with time and dedication.

  2. I have great family and friends that continue to support my journey!

  3. In 23 weeks I will step onstage again! I tend to watch videos of pros when I am feeling down. They never gave up so why should i?


Enjoy your weekend guys and if you’re able to go lay by the pool, do it! Get some of that sun and have fun relaxing. Until next time friends!


-Cassie


May 25. 2016

Injuries and the Importance of Not Ignoring Them

Hey everyone! Hope your week has been going well.

Recently I've been dealing with some pain and it could not have come at a worse time, although is there a good time, not really. About three months ago I injured myself during my shoulder workout. I can recall the exact instant the injury occurred as well. Now I'm a fairly seasoned lifter, been doing this stuff since I was about seventeen years old, so about seventeen years here, and I still hurt myself from time to time. I also still get arrogant and ignore potential injuries still from time to time. This was one of those times and I could not regret it more. 

The injury happened while I was doing upright rows on the cable machine with a rope. For whatever reason, I decided to pull up past parallel on my lift. Folks, I'm going to say here and now, and you can debate this all you want, do not go past parallel on an upright row. It literally impeded the shoulder joint and smashed the nerves in between several muscle groups. I knew this, I have known this because the last time I injured my shoulder was doing the exact same thing but with a barbell! The exact same exercise!! 

What did I do? Well, I certainly did not stop my workout like I should have, I went on and further injured myself. 

Fast forward to today and I have had active release therapy probably twenty times, which include manipulation of the joint, the muscles and muscle scrapping, which I can tell is not pleasant. Thank goodness my chiropractic also specializes in injuries, sports related or otherwise. He's fantastic! I'm very grateful for Dr. Psota and he's helped me tremendously. 

Now it's been three months and I'm not a hundred percent better and I have a show in a little over two weeks!!! Why am I not better? Well, for one, I'm most likely reinjuring the area over and over again by continuous training. It's not the train per say, but the way in which I train. Which I know is not conducive to recovery, but I'm almost to the finish line here and can't just stop. The other thing is that I literally injured the entire shoulder, all the way around, as well as many surrounding muscle up into the base of my skull and to my chin. So let's just say, this is one of the worst injuries I've had to date. 

All of this stemmed from ignoring my body and what I've learned and have been taught. 

I have been in the gym long enough to know better, and I have studied biomechanics and the human anatomy enough times to know better. Yet my head didn't listen and I did something I knew was incorrect. 

Not my first time either. When I was around twenty three, maybe twenty four, I injured my lumbar spine by doing deadlifts too heavy for me to handle. As a result I have a chronically swollen lumbar disc. One of those guys in there will swell up, without warning and it give me hell no matter what the situation. I've been floored by lifting a ten pound item before and been down for weeks because of it. 

I also injured my other shoulder doing heavy bench press when I was eighteen perhaps, It wasn't a lot of weight, but I was weak at that time and not experience. I went for a press and the bar literally fell on my check and hyperextended my shoulder. There was no one to spot me, or help me and I had to roll, yes roll, the bar off my body. The result was a torn shoulder and permanent nerve damage from the force of the drop. 

What's my point in all this?? Am I trying to scare you? No absolutely no. I've been hurt so many times, I can't count them anymore, but they were all preventable! All of them!! 

My point is this. Listen to your body, especially if you're alone and don't have anyone to help you out when you're in trouble. If you've been taught something by an expert and it works, there's no real reason to go outside that box and test different limits. Do what feel right and stop if it doesn't feel right. If you start to feel pain lifting, don't fight through it, stop. Now don't confuse pain with that beautiful burning sensation you get from exercise! I mean, real pain, not just the slight burn. 

Listening to your body and asking for advice is the best thing you can do. This go for experienced and inexperienced lifters. We all like to think we know everything and it simply is not true. We learn everyday and I for one thrive on the new knowledge. I love to learn and to put that knowledge to work. 

So my message is this. Be safe no matter what. Don't let your head get in the way too much. It is mind over matter, but we also have to be aware of our surroundings and know when it's too much. This is something I have to work on every time I'm in the gym, despite having the experience to know better. 

I hope this blog was educational as that was it's purpose. You can exercise your entire life and not get hurt. There's no doubt about that, just be aware that it's a possibility if you do not listen to what is being told to you.


Thanks everyone and have a wonderful week!! 


Adam Hartley

Custom Fitness Consulting Co-Owner/Coach

ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com 


May 23. 2016

Being Uncomfortable

Hey Fam Bam! So it is one week post show… and one week till the pools open… Hmmm let’s just say I had a moment today trying on a bikini. I put on the bikini top on and thought “oh god” but when I put on the bikini bottoms I was like “well hello there friend!” Basically I am going to talk about today is body issues, readjustments, and acceptance.

If you guys don’t know or haven’t caught on, I do tend to struggle with body issues. It has always been there and is a common thing many people struggle with. Before I dive in about my personal experience I do want to say that this is a work in progress, honestly I do not think this feeling will ever disappear but it’s how you address the situation because guys you can’t continuously beat yourself up, this will lead to unhappiness and affect other areas of your life. Trust me I been there!

Anyway, so about me for a moment. I never think I am the fat girl at all. I have some areas that I am more self-conscious than others. For example my biggest concern is always my abdomen or waist. Whenever I am feeling self-conscious it’s usually because I maybe am a little bloated. Bloating happens! There are so many chemical responses and hormones working in our bodies that we never truly know what all is going on in there. Over time we learn more about our systems and can have better understandings. Is it that big of a deal though that we don’t look perfect all the time?

So my transition from prep to this reverse-diet was probably not the smoothest. I wanted to get most of my calories from carbs and start some serious growth. Well I grew but not in a good way. My metabolism wasn’t ready for that big of a spike in carbohydrates so this left me bloated and uncomfortable. You need the carbohydrates to put on muscle but if you make too drastic of a change your body is going to work against you. Plus being low carbohydrate for a competition then after you cut back cardio and up your carbs too fast. Your body doesn’t know what to do with them, it hasn’t had these for so long that it will turn to fat. I know this sounds like I rebounded, and I might have a little but I guess I had to learn what not to do again. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some amazing workouts and I'm am so sore today! I pulled back my carbs and replaced them with good fats, I still want calories to be up and to slowly implement carbs back in so my metabolism can continue to grow.

By the way, I have been following a plan I laid out that was clean and portioned out. I had junk food after the stage but once Monday came I was back to my meals. This bloating wasn’t from eating whatever I wanted, ok some of it was… I love you carbs! But it was clean foods that were in a structured plan. So I do wish this week went better, but I didn’t know that this would happen. Had to find out and learn something from it.

Here we are again in unchartered territory, every part of each day in my life is new. Whether it is with schooling, work, family, fitness, etc. I cannot predict how something will turnout, we can just have an idea from previous experiences. I am here, never reversed dieted before or really had a grow period of time. I don’t know what to expect which puts you out of your comfort zone. Even though I may be somewhat scared I am excited. How much muscle can I put on? How much stronger will I get this time? How much leaner will I be on stage? When I feel the fear inside get to me I try thinking about why I am afraid, is it something I should be? I am brave and you are too, for not giving up. There are some days I want to give up. Just from self-doubt that we place in our selves. If I give up I will never find out the answers to questions I just asked.

Be uncomfortable and get used to it. Because there is always something that will bother us that we cannot change. We just find a way to cope with it. Me as well, embrace that feeling of uncertainty about something you are passionate about and love.

As always thank you for your continued support and have a great week friends!

-Cassie

May 20. 2016

Switching gears

Hello friends, happy Friday! I can’t believe it is already Friday! Seriously already been a week since I competed? Bet these next 23 weeks will fly by… hopefully! I already miss it. Can we go back where I can be stage ready and shoving donuts in my face again! Anyways if you guys didn’t pick up on the hint I was dropping, my next show is in 23 weeks. I am planning on competing at the 2016 NPC All Stars. Now that I have my first real prep under my belt, we have plans to make adjustments.

I haven’t gotten feedback from all the judges but my critiques were to come in a touch leaner, perfect my posing, and my tanning and makeup. These are simple adjustments that are easy to work on. The reason I chose to wait is to give me some time to grow and strengthen my metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate is very important and since I dieted down for a show for so long I need some to add back food and lower cardio for a while to put on more muscle. This time when I start to cut back calories again for my next show I will come in leaner with more muscle which will make me even more competitive. The positive feedback I got was that I have very good symmetry and balance with both body fat and muscle tone. That is probably one of the hardest parts for anyone to work on as a competitor, is to being balanced.

I am already back to the gym crushing my workouts. Going from being depleted and worn down to bursting with energy is a big change. During prep there were days I would break down crying on my way to the gym and now I am back to when can I go lift again! I blame my stress during prep just off that I have been so passionate about the whole process and just being new to the experience, so I didn’t know what to expect! Now we have an idea for next time and I can work on coping with the anxiety better.

Reverse diet is new territory for me. I have always had some body issues but coming off a stage to enjoying some food, yes the scale is up a few pounds which it was going to go up one day anyways so I don’t know why I let it bother me. My point being I am going into a new journey again and getting into a new groove of my diet, workouts, and just life in general. We are always just trying to find that balance or serenity.

I am going to enjoy the next three months of relaxed dieting, and by relaxed I mean I still follow a plan but I can be more flexible with my foods. Instead of having chicken and eggs, I can also have some beef or fish! Nothing wrong with eggs or chicken but I am able to have variety. If I eat something I shouldn’t I don’t stress because this is my time to grow. Don’t get me wrong guys, like 10 pounds! Then it’s back to prep and see what changes we made. It’s a revolving circle of growing and cutting that takes days, weeks, months, and years for changes and I am completely and utterly in love with it.

So as always friend’s thank you for following my journey and get ready to start a new one with me as we switch gears! Make sure to check out our Custom Fitness Consulting Facebook page in the next month we will be making some cool new changes there as well and follow my Instagram for some Cassandra day to day life @bicepbabe!

Have a great weekend,

-Cassie

May 18. 2016

Where I am now and where I want to be

Good morning everyone! It's a beautiful day outside and today I am grateful and feeling alive.

When I decided I wanted to change my life for the better, I had to take several steps. They were not easy steps, and it was a long painful process. I was twenty six years old the first time I decided to make a change. During that year I had been struggling with addiction and let me tell you, being addicted to anything can be a great detriment to your life. For me it was alcohol, fast food, and well probably a number of other things I can't quite recall now. My wife was pregnant and I wanted to make this change for myself and for my children. Our second child was on the way and I did not ever want her to see me in the state I was in at that time. 

It was a hard decision, and one I battled with since I was around twenty years old. I knew at a very young age that I had addictive tendencies. When I was a child, I always wanted the best of the best or the most I could get. I would obsess about it and drive myself insane thinking about it. Of course my parents had very little money at this time, so the decision was easy, I just didn't get what I wanted. When I got my first job, I remember the thrill of blowing my entire paycheck irresponsibly on I believe it was comic books at that time. That was my addiction. I had hundreds of them by the end of my first year of working, not only from me purchasing them, but from years of getting one or two from my parents every once in awhile when they could. The funny thing was, I didn't even read half of them. I just wanted them for some reason. To this day, I own many of them, and guess where they are? In a box in my basement. I haven't looked at them in years.

Growing up, I did not get the finest of the fine or the best of the best. So I felt like I had some making up to do. Still to this day, I struggle with my addiction to spending money. I would say shopping, but that's not exactly true. It's the act of spending money. It really has more to do with that instant gratification. 

So this addiction, like the others I've had or have, are all what I'd call character flaws. I battle with them daily to better myself and improve my outlook on life. It's not always easy, but it's definitely worth it. 

So at twenty six I decided to change. I took some steps that were important to me and to this day, some of the people in my life do not understand why, but they probably never will. I sought out help. There was a resignation in me and I realized I could not change alone and I didn't have to. So, I sought out professional help. 

After getting cleaned up, I decided I wanted to be healthy. Now when I was twenty three, I believe, I went to school to be a personal trainer, so this wasn't easy for me when I thought it would be. There was part of me that thought I knew everything and it was humbling to learn I did not. After much trial and error, I decided once again to seek out professional help. I hired a trainer and changed my life. 

Now, I won't tell you that after I did these things that my life immediately was amazing and I went through this awesome transformation and was on top of the world. That would be a lie. It's a battle, an uphill battle sometimes. The improvement of oneself is a constant thing we must work on if we are wanting to achieve greatness. I did not understand this in my twenties and am finally grasping onto the concept in my thirties. I'd call myself a late bloomer of sorts, but really we each evolve and become different people at different times.

Where I was before was a place of darkness. I was swallowed and consumed by the depths of negativity, self loathing and depression. Through asking for guidance, I was able to be pulled into the light and see that life as a gift. 

Today I still struggle, but not like I did before. I can view things for what they are and not get so angry and emotional. There is a part of me that still is angry and emotional, but it's something I must work on day to day. We can't breaks decades of bad thinking and habits overnight. It's literally impossible and journey is just as exciting as the outcome. 

I am a man who has accomplished many things, and I want to continue to accomplish many things throughout the rest of my life. I'd like to say I know where this life will take me, and I'm more than curious to find out, but I just do not know. All I know is that I'm excited to live life today and be in the moment. 

Where do I want to be? If I had a choice, I'd just be comfortable. That means financially, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I'm not a man who needs the world. All I need is my friends and family really, and that's enough. Sure I'd love to have the finer things in life. Fast cars, fancy clothes, a bigger house...etc. But at the same time, I simply don't care. For the short time I've been on this earth I've done quite a bit and have a lot to show for it. 

There is a sense of gratefulness in my life that I never thought I could accomplish and I have. It took time, effort and sometimes pain, but it was all worth it. Anything in life that is worth having is worth fighting for. 

My point of this entire blog today is that where I want to be, is where I am now. There has been many times where I didn't feel this way, but it's true. I will continue to make great strides in life, but I have everything I need and want and could not be happier. 

I am a blessed man and grateful man. My life has been a gift and I want to share that gift with others. 


Thank you and have a great day/week.


Adam Hartley

Co-Owner Custom Fitness Consulting

ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com 


May 17. 2016

Why We Need Others

Hey everyone! Special blog today. I've been thinking and something that is bothering me. It's a trend I've seen with not only my team, but other competitors out there. There is a huge lack of support from family members and friends in our community. 

It's quite baffling to me. I see it all the time and experience it. I've had people tell me I looked amazing on stage and others tell me that I look like death warmed over. No joke, I was told that exact thing. 

So something occurred to me, and that is our constant need for approval. It's a deep rooted and sometimes detrimental thing. As a bodybuilder, people often think I am very vain and think that I think I have everything figured out. This in fact couldn't be further from the truth. On the inside I'm probably one of the most insecure people you could ever know. Why? I'm not positive. A lot of it comes from my personal life experiences and the negativity I've dealt with throughout my life. Other competitors are the same way from what I've seen. Now I know there are some folks out there that stand on that stage and think "I'm God's gift to everyone", but for the most part people are humble. They don't like being nit picked and put on a pedestal, some of us are even insecure if we win!

Why do we need others? It's because without other people, life really is a bit meaningless. That being said, we do not need them to tread on us. When someone has something negative to say to you, smile at them and know that they are wrong. Be proud of who you are and what you've accomplished. I know this is easier said than done, but that doesn't mean you cannot rewire your brain to operate this way.  

Throughout my life, like others, I've faced adversity at every turn. It seems like I can never escape it. I get looks in the gym, sometimes I get comments, good and bad. Both bother me funny enough. Not because I don't appreciate a compliment, but because I'm an insecure man and it's hard for me to accept what someone is telling me. That doesn't stop me from being positive and doing the same for others. I root for people and tell them they can do it! Fight and you will succeed!! Even through my own struggles, I encourages my friends, family and fellow competitors! I don't care if I stand on stage with you and you beat me, if you do, you deserve it! It's about the process and bettering yourself throughout. Learning something new about yourself and living through a hardship.

When I got into bodybuilding, which wasn't that long ago, I didn't have a plan. There wasn't any part of me that thought "I want to be Mr. Olympia" or "I have to win every show no matter what". I take each day as it comes and go with the flow even if I don't like the flow. Some days are harder than others, not just because I'm dieting, but because I'm human and life isn't easy all the time. 

Surround yourself with those that support you. You do not have to remove those who don't though, you just have to learn their limitations as human beings. Some people are incapable of being supportive because, well frankly, they are probably self loathing, which is sad. So don't shy away from them, educate them, kill them with kindness. Tell them you're doing what you were intended to do and it's what makes you happy. It does not matter if they don't agree or understand because guess what? It's not their life to live! It's yours and you can do whatever you want and love it!

A bit of a rant, a bit of an uplifter hopefully. I just see this all the time and more and more since it's competition season again. Be true to yourself. Understand what that means. Really think about it. You are in control of your destiny and no one can take that away from you unless you allow them to. 

That's all I have for today and I hope it helps. Enjoy today, live in the day and love yourself. You deserve it!


Thank you,


Adam Hartley

Co-Owner/Coach Custom Fitness Consulting 

ahartley@customfitnessconsulting.com

May 16. 2016

My Final Moment

Wow is all I can say. It is the day after my show and I am in whirl wind! Is the show really over? I cannot believe this time last week I was preparing for peak week and now it’s over?! What am I going to do… Twiddle my thumbs… Guess again friends! In today’s blog I am just going to go into some thoughts and feelings I had before, during, and after the stage.

So beginning of peak week, Monday and Tuesday, I was having a meltdown! No I wasn’t ready, I need to be leaner, more muscular, or I should have picked another show. My fear of not being good enough was wasting my energy and was blinding myself from the whole reason and my decision to compete. I finally snapped out of it by Wednesday and was honestly just following my plan and trusting my coach. I did what I could now to be proud of myself and what I have worked hard for!

Before I knew it, it was Friday morning and I was packing the car ready to head to Wichita. Time was just flying by. I no longer had any time to question myself. It was go time! I checked into the hotel and had my meals throughout the day and for myself personally, this lifestyle is hard because you are constantly uncomfortable. During prep my body hurt and I was so tired and hungry. When preparing for stage I was ok hunger wise but never really satisfied, just snacking for like two days. I was ready for a meal. Now post show I have been relaxed on my diet last night and today. I haven’t been stuffing my face all day. Honestly my stomach is so small that I cannot eat that much and when your senses are overwhelmed that the tastes start to blah together so really I am no longer enjoying my food.

Any who what I was saying was, Friday I checked in with the hotel, the show, and also my coach. Before long it was Saturday morning and it was time to get my makeup done, last few coats of tan, and all the while eating and making sure I was ready. It really is pretty much a stop and go procedure. Eventually I was started pumping up and eating my candy then walking out on stage!

The first time you walk out, there are nerves. I hit my poses and waited to be compared and waited to see if I was top call outs. That’s is my moment! Honestly the part I live for is being compared. There is something about knowing your competition is literally inches away from you that makes you want to just give a show for the judges. After the morning show was over, I kind of didn’t realize what had happened. I had made first call-outs in both classes! Along with the rest of my teammates, we all made first call outs!

At the night show I received my medals, ending with a 2nd place in Novice and 3rd in Open bikini. Even typing this up right now trying to replay all the memories I had from this weekend and the whole journey brings tears to my eyes. I cannot believe I have been so blessed. To have the opportunity to struggle through prep and push myself ,then show off my hard work onstage. Also the time I had spending with my team and how much love and support people have given me is so incredibly touching. I believe everyone deserves to feel this loved and appreciated once in their life.

So here’s to the stress, crying and pain over the last few months but more importantly to the laughs, smiles, and passion for the life we get to live. Take these moments and hold them close to your heart, save them for your dark days my friends. There is always a light at the end of whatever tunnel you may be going through.

Thank you all again for following my journey and the continued support in my life. It’s time to run and get my last cheat in before reverse diet starts, froyo! And then to the grocery store because it’s time to build! I will be checking in with you guys later this week to let you know my plans going forward in the future.

Have a great week friends,

Cassie

May 13. 2016

What time is it?!

Hey guys! It is my Thursday night and good lord has this week flown by! I never thought this day would come! Even earlier this week I was having meltdowns thinking I am not going to make it and here I am belly full of carbs and off to Wichita tomorrow! Over 7 months I changed my habits and lifestyle to make it possible for this day to come. This blog is going to be short and sweet and I will give you guys all the details next week. Don’t you worry!

So one day turned into one week which turned into a month, you get the picture. Several months later this is what I've got. Just think about how months turn into years. Living your life doing what you love you are sure to grow! Sure there will be bumps and I know you guys have seen them but for something you are truly passionate about there is nothing that will get in your way. We are determined!

Game day. Check in to the hotel and competition Friday. See coach and get my tan Friday night and then Saturday we have prejudging and finals! This is the time to enjoy. Sure I am nervous even a little stressed but when you are surrounded by family and a team that is supporting, not placing, can ruin that experience of feeling truly loved. To make someone proud or have them root for you.

I won’t be worrying. Why worry? I worried about little insignificant things most of my prep! Today is about doing my best at showcasing the months of hard work I put in. After the show I get to enjoy time with my teammates and family I don’t always get to see. The best part is that I am not going to have to watch what I eat or think about my workout routine! We have already made a rough draft of what we want to accomplish for the next show but today we are living in the moment because this is our time! What we worked for! Our best! Not someone else's! The tears, aches, hunger pains we went through! Here we are and there is no turning back!

Thank you all for the support and love! I am overwhelmed with how many people that reach out to me to cheer me on! I appreciate it and I can’t describe the joy it brings my heart that I may have helped someone.

Love you guys and have a great weekend,

-Cassie 

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