#PrepFeels: Leveling Up

#PrepFeels: Leveling Up

When I decided to change my Instagram handle a few months back - and now my blog - I made the conscious choice to start sharing more about me, being more true to who I am. 

Don't get me wrong, I truly LOVE food, love developing my own recipes, and 1000000% love pretty plating and making my meals fun so none of that is going away. But I also, over the last year or so, have developed a real love and passion for fitness. 

My very unathletic history

Quick reminder for those of you who may be new: I was never athletic. I never enjoyed working out. I tried every crash diet under the sun because I hated my body and wanted to be sickly thin; I thought thin was beautiful.

Then I met my now husband, Michael, and my whole world changed. I saw that he loved me for me; every flaw, quirk, without make-up, in sweat pants, with post-dinner date bloating, bags under my eyes, my awkward crooked smile, the whole nine yards. And I started to want to take better care of myself, not just for me, but for him. I wanted to love myself just as much as he did. 

So I started working out. I tried the apps, bikini body guides, hours of cardio, a one-time macros calculation, and nothing was really sticking. I started to loose weight, sure, but I wanted more. I wanted muscle. I wanted strength. I wanted a challenge.

So I decided, 2018 was going to be the YEAR OF KELLY: I'd be turning 30, getting married and hey, why don't I decided to train for a bikini competition?! Oh and tell EVERYONE about it, so that I would be held accountable and not back out. 

Roughly 1 year ago, last summer, to last weekend's check-in with coach.

Roughly 1 year ago, last summer, to last weekend's check-in with coach.

Little did I know, I'd fall in love again. But this time, with leveling up as a human being -- with becoming the best possible version of myself for ME, my husband and for my {current and} future family. 

No better time than now to level the eff up

So here we are, just shy of 6 weeks out from my first of 3 shows this fall {yea I entered 3, go big or go home, right?!} and the prep feels are hitting me hard and fast. 

I started looking back at where I started, and all the self doubt I had been feeling recently began to melt away. I've come f*cking far in a year. I went from hitting snooze 15x all week long and sleeping in on the weekends past 10:00am to a daily 4:30am alarm, lifting heavy 6x a week and never missing a day -- aside from the few days before my wedding and week of my honeymoon, but YOLO! I've got my macros down to a science, prep my staples on Sunday and pack my breakfast, lunch and post-workout shake supplies every night before I get into bed. 

I don't say all of this to brag and be like 'haaaay look at me, I'm a rockstar', I say all of this to show you that even I - who was completely unmotivated, try-it-for-a-month-then-bail - have managed to change my lifestyle and habits, and SO CAN YOU.

And not just in fitness, but in any aspect of your life. Wherever you are most passionate, harnass that energy, nurture it and watch how it grows inside of you, pushing you to expand into other facets of your life from your careers, relationships, hobbies and more.

Very blurry look at some back gainzzzz

Very blurry look at some back gainzzzz

So long story short, prep is going pretty well. I certainly have my good days where I feel like a superhero and definitely have my bad where I don't feel like I'm progressing, I'm short on sleep, hangry AF and feel like a failure...but balance ya'll. I am grateful for my family and the support system I have built around me, both from my fellow gym goers-turned-friends and my See You Later Leaner teammates who help me push past those moments of insecurity. 

But enough about me and my journey, let's talk products I'm currently obsessed with! Because who doesn't love a reason to treat yo self with some new goods?!

Currently crushing on

1. Core Nutritionals

For those of you who have been following along for some time now, you know my struggle with supplements. I've tried A LOT of pre-workouts, BCAAs, and whey proteins. I mean A LOT, multiple brands, forumlations, etc. Finally, I decided to actually listen to the advice of my favorite nutrition shop, Cape Cod Nutrition Corner, and give Core Nutritionals a try. 

I was very adamant about only wanting a product that was true to its label, as clean as possible and not full of a bunch of fillers and general junk. And truth be told, Core ticked all of those boxes.

I've currently been using the Core ABCD, BCAAs for both muscle recovery and enhanced energy. The deeper into prep I get, the more complex my lifts are becoming, as we're doubling up on muscle groups to truly target and fine tune my weaknesses. Plus, cardio. Ya know, I went from like barely any, to all day every day, so I need a little help. Even better, the Australian Gummy Snakes flavor truly effing tastes like gummy bears, no lie. 

Next up is my post-workout shake, made especially delicious with Core ISO in Chocolate Peppermint Bark, like Thin Mint cookie goooooood. The level of quality and true purity of this whey product is noticeable as soon as you open the cannister. It just looks different than other proteins on the market; it's lighter, almost fluffy and it mixes so well, not grainy or harsh. And it is the one whey protein I have tried thus far that with extended use HAS NOT bothered my digestive system. I repeat, HAS NOT made me constipated, bloated, given be diarrhea, stomach pains or some combination of that list. Finally, a brand I know is true to it's label. Plus, Core makes some bomb ass protein pancakes, see recipe here

Full disclosure, I've also been using HUM Nutrition probiotics and digestive enzymes which have also been a game changer for me. I even mix their mint chip raw greens powder into my Core post-workout shake. More deets on that, via this Instagram post here

2. New Balance

Basically everything I own from New Balance is amazing, but I especially am loving my new Fresh Foam Lazrs because they are beyond light and comfortable for cardio, yet also flat enough and supportive to keep me stable in my lifts. I wear them every single day, including my rest days when I am on my feet grocery shopping like a fiend. Also, New Balance leggings are liiiiife, so comforable, don't slip and dry quick. They are a staple for my leg days.

3. Redefine Healthy Radio

Amazing. Enough said. Redefine Healthy Radio, needs no true explanation - just google it, give it a listen and you'll be hooked too. Real, raw, honest insight into the world of bodybuilding and competing, led by Laurin Conlin and Paul Revelia. It's a no BS look into what this lifestyle is all about. Plus, Laurin drops f-bombs like a boss, and that's something I can really get behind. 

4. Nuts n' More

I'll just leave this right here:

bday.jpg

You're welcome. I honestly need to go stock up on more Nuts n' More flavors, plus some truffle bites and maybe some almond butter, so yeaaaa my collection is growing. 

Well, I could go on, but it's Friday and you have better things to do than read an even longer list, so go out there and crush your day, your weekend and your life. Love you all!

- Xo Kelly

Sweet Potato Pie Oats

Sweet Potato Pie Oats

4 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

4 Ingredient Protein Pancakes