A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words… 1347 to be exact

There have been a few things that have remained as constants on my (secret) bucket list ever since I was a little girl.
1. I wanted to have my photo taken and be published in a magazine. What the magazine was called or what I was doing in the photo, were irrelevant.
2. I would have a bangin’ body and get to be all dolled up and dramatic like for a fashion show and walk a.. runway.. That was/is a second item.
You may be wondering where the heck I’m going with these vague (was/is)isms and be thinking, like, get to the point lady! But I think that this post necessitates some groundwork be laid before I jump to the good part.
I think I have an innate need to be told, reminded and told again that I’m good at something before I let myself believe that I am. (Guess this might fall under some other fancy term but I call it what it is… the need for acceptance). Surely, I’m not the only one here who has this. It doesn’t ring 100% true in every aspect of my life but in some, absolutely.
For example, beauty. It’s subjective and definitely a very broad term. Everyone has their own definition, and even that definition is not an absolute, it varies with each new subject and circumstance. But for the purposes of this blog post I am referring to my physical beauty (or maybe in some people’s opinions, my lack thereof? Whatev’s) As a little girl I always thought my best feature was my smile, then as I grew older it changed and I appreciated the color of my eyes, the size and shape of my ears, the fullness of my hair (har har, refer to my previous post to see the humor in this) and so on. It evolved and I ‘grew into’ myself. I now believe (given the right makeup and lighting lol) that I am beautiful (or at least made to seem that way.. haha)
Um.. ok I’m a bit lost.

*seriously just had to scroll up and see what the hell this blog started with so I knew where I was going with this long winded explanation*

So of the 2 aforementioned items on my magical bucket list I have, in my opinion and as of today, completed half of each one of those. The other halves, I’m working on and these first halves will help me accomplish the one half. What a mess this is to follow.. so on to the ‘good part’.
On October 11th I had the privilege of working with an immensely knowledgeable and talented photographer, Trevor Sowers. Check out his facebook page HERE! (The other link takes you to his website) Trevor if you’re reading this, my hat is off to you. I’m humbled by your work ethic and dedication to a session. Thank you for your hard work, time and effort that you put into my shoot!!!! I CANNOT wait to see the edited images, especially when I hardly even recognized that the girl on the 3″ screen was actually me from only moments before. ***Editing note: I didn’t even have time to complete this flippin’ blog post and already he was messaging me with my finished product!! Too bad, I was committed in writing this lol so here it is, you can see some of the photos on my fb page, BeneFIT with Claudia or wait til my next post, unless my ADD kicks in and you get a whole different entry***
So Trevor and I met only about a week ago and I gave him an idea of what I wanted in a session. We brainstormed about the location, I, about my outfits and he, about the lights and equipment to make it all come together and in the span of a short few days we had everything organized and in place.
First off I woke up unnecessarily early and my first thought was “I’m LATE! SHIT!” Alas it was 2am. Back to sleep.. kinda.. on and off I was up thinking I had slept in. At 8am Shay Daigneault came over and did my makeup for me and it was beautiful, with shimmery gold tones it brought out my eyes nicely.. plus, how can a girl go wrong with a great set of falsies?
I then raced out to Michalle’s house and dropped off my kiddies with hers and they didn’t even look back, surely that’s a good sign! I’m quite certain they got into all kinds of trouble (Davey was non stop talking about going down some backwards slide and e-brakes on pedal bikes….?????? haha, they’re both in one piece and Michalle has all her hair, it’s all good).
So, THANK YOU Michalle for taking them, you’re a lifesaver.. a pretty green lime flavoured lifesaver.. 🙂
Trevor and I we set to meet at the Houston Leisure Facility Gym, him early to enjoy his coffee, muffin and to check out exactly where to set up and I was late as usual (9:26am, whoops, sorry Trevor).
***Quick shout out to Houston Leisure Services – Gym and Staff Thank You for letting us invade the space for 3 hours today!!! It was a great location to do my shoot!!!***
So from about 9:30-12:30 I was selfishly sucking in the attention, flexing this, that, and my butt all over that set. “Smized” my ass off, Tyra would be proud. Every few shots Trevor would show me and check that the lighting was good, emphasizing the right muscles and hiding some flaws. I have to boast, as a virgin fitness model, (or model in general) I think I rocked that shoot. I’m not sure if this was Trevor’s first fitness shoot but if it was, I wouldn’t have known. He was so helpful and made me totally comfortable!!! Also, he swore. I like that shit. LOL Should be on an eCard “You swear. I like that shit”

So back to the halves I’ve now completed..
1.1 Be photographed: CHECK!
2.1 Obtain a bangin’ body: In progress but getting there! For the purposes of checking off my bucket list I’m going to say a definite pass, so CHECK!

As for 1.2 Be published in a magazine: I spent part of my thanksgiving weekend filling out a questionnaire and put my bio together with some of my favorite shots from this session and submitted them to Inside Fitness’ Hot and Fit 100 and Oxygen’s The Future of Fitness in the hopes of being published in either (OR BOTH) magazines!!
2.2 Walking a runway… well this item will be crossed off my bucket list on November 22nd at Gossip Nightclub in Vancouver. I got the amazing opportunity courtesy of the lovely Sheleah Curtin (if you remember she did my makeup at Mike & Katie’s wedding from a few posts ago) and she invited me to model her makeup in a RAW show!! Thank you Sheleah for this incredible opportunity, I cannot WAIT to be a part of this with you!!!
In case anyone is curious what RAW is/does here’s their FB description or you can just click the link to their fb page and see for yourself!
“RAW is an international organization that showcases emerging talent in art, fashion, music, film, photography, hair & makeup in over 70 cities worldwide.”

I don’t have a concrete bucket list but there’s a few more on there for sure: go skydiving, be a surrogate mother if someone near and dear to me needs one, to never stop exploring and travelling to places like Egypt, Venice, Greece, Paris, New York City, Fiji, etc.

Anyone else have good bucket list items they want to share?

So far I’ve thanked Shay, Michalle, Houston Leisure Facilities and staff, Trevor Sowers and Sheleah. I would also like to thank Tim for supporting me more and more as this competition process progresses, thank you for occasionally looking the other way as I’m elbow deep in fro-yo and for generally supporting all my absurd dreams and aspirations that pop into my square German head. Lastly, thank you Google for some weird photos that make me LOL.

Corgi

I too love peanut butter Mr Corgi but I lack the tongue length to be able to get the last bits out like that… I have to cheat and use a squeegee spatula thing.

40 Days and 39 Nights of Abstinence!

Nooo not quite a movie title but it IS, only 40 days n 39 nights until I am on stage in my… itsy bitsy teenie weenie purple spark-ly bikini! Yep yep people, it’s less than a movie title away now! I am not gonna lie, maintaining motivation is not the easiest thing in the world right now because I JUST WANNA GO! I wanna be there… buuuut I’m one to rush things, so I’m trying to cool my jets and enjoy the ride.
A few posts ago I asked if anyone wanted to see my progress photos and such. That was your warning. This post is going to be all about progress and then some photos of my first few posing practice shots in my new bikini and heels!!! So here’s your last chance to redirect your browser to something more amusing like grumpy cat or ecards or.. facebook.. whatever…
***I really don’t want to post these for the sake of maintaining some sort of mystery with those who I read this and who I see around town… BUUUUUT if I had had to endured endlessly ranting and rambling posts for a few months like you all have, I’d want some dirt on the bag who made me suffer.. so here you all go.. without further adieu.. my 3 month progress photos***
Back Comp wtext  Side Comp wtext
Front Comp wtext

Both the before and after are taken at the same time of day, in the same exact spot with the same swimsuit, from the same location & angle and I’m standing relaxed and soft in both.
Now, some may argue that I could be “cheating” these photos, like by wearing heels in the Sept photos but ask yourself this: 1. if I have NO financial (or any other type) of gain from this, what would be the point? 2. would I REALLY post that unflattering, unmakeup’d, bedhead hair, and to be quite frank, AWFUL before? 3. bear in mind who had to take these photos and with what… my 4 year old… with a cell phone.. yeah, no trick photography happening there.
Unless of course you’re on the other side of the fence thinking “That’s IT?!?!?” To which I might respond, “I SAY, GOOD DAY!” (I hope at least one of you gets that, That 70’s Show reference).
I do need to add that I have NEVER been 100% ‘on plan’ for more than 8 consecutive days (that was recently). I have endured some serious struggles, mentally, some physical and many many MANY with food and otherwise food related temptations. Who knows where I could’ve been had I been a perfect pupil! BUT that’s just not life, and that’s DEFINITELY not me. I am an imperfect, stubborn, rebellious, hormonal creature with a husband, 2 children, a home to maintain and about a zillion other factors. We all have our challenges but I’m super proud to say I have exceeded my own expectations and even as I wrote my very first blog entry, I was mentally contemplating my exit plan for this whole competition thing. It was a subconscious, public image preservation strategy. I expected to get injured (which happened, but I kept going… it may very well still happen but I will adapt), a family emergency to give me an out, I’d even go so far as to say I expected Armageddon to happen before I could admit that I believed in myself enough to see this thing through! Now, less than 6 weeks out, my mind is actually allowing me to believe that not only will I make it to the stage but I think I’m going to do a-ok, not necessarily because I’ll win, or place or even make 2nd call outs but because I’ve been working my ass off everyday, successfully overcoming struggles more frequently and actually seeing self improvement in so many areas of my life, besides the physical. Big shout out THANK YOU to my coach and trainer Caitlyn Bellamy, without the fear of YOU and our stinkin’ biweekly check ins I definitely would’ve strayed from my path.

As was the going fashion in my first few posts (until I became comfortable and openly sarcastic) I think an inspirational quote is in order…

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

I almost forgot!! Good for you for reading past the quote, yay! Means I’ve got some good followers.. and for that I reward you with some awkwardly posed photos of me in my show suit!!! Yaaaaaaaaaay….

posing wtext

10 Weeks left.. ONLY!

I am totally surprised with how FAST this is going by!!! I just looked back at one of my other blog posts.. it was 143 Days Out.. now we are at a measly 71!!! In the words of a minion “Whaaaaaaaaaa????” (Despicable Me reference.. hands down one of my favorite kids’ movies)
minion
Thursday was assessment day with Caitlyn… or what I commonly like to refer to as.. “Dreary, Worse than Doomsday & Labour Pains Combined Depressing Day.”
THIS is how I (usually) look/feel on the inside, on said day…
wet_cat
Can you tell I had an “off” weekend at the Fair?
If you read my previous post, where I referred to my food baby and running intervals on the treadmill… this was the cause for that “6 months along” situation.
Turtle love
This was pretty much me on Sunday.. but replace that healthy and nutritious strawberry with Fair food… mini donuts, burger n fries, ice cream, pie, the works.. Yes, I’m only human dammit!

In case anyone doesn’t know how this prep business works.. every 2 weeks I have to send photos to Caitlyn of me in a bikini in a “relaxed” (READ: UNflattering) pose front, back and both sides. Along with my updated measurements and weight that read to her like a full body scan (you know the ones at the airport where “the guy upstairs” gets to see you nude and wrapped in bronze? Yes, I imagine something similar to this happens on her end of things.) Now, if you’re like me and are incapable of self control the night before, this scale number will not reflect how hard you’ve actually been busting your ass for the last two weeks and she sees this and thinks “lazy shit, I’ll show her” and throws in some extra cardio **Update: she sent me my adjustments for being naughty.. I guessed correctly, a little more cardio** or steals your oatmeal from your breakfast… wah, this happened 2 weeks ago.

Is anyone wondering how I get similar photos every 2 weeks with a cell phone and no timer on it?? (No, I don’t get my hubby to take them, he leaves for work at 3am so he’s never around for picture time)
I’ll let you in on a secret, you just get yourself one of these nifty creatures…
Davey
Yep! Any handy dandy 4 year old will do, as long as they can get the ‘whole you’ in the photo you can always crop out other crap they may have caught.. dust bunnies, piles of unfolded laundry, rogue dryer sheets, etc) sometimes this can take up to 5 tries because I’ll be missing feet, my head or he will take it from an obscure angle where I look like the leaning tower of Pisa. Or in the instance where I tried to practice some posing and he kept snapping photos before I was ready (Shush! It’s hard to remember how to flex, turn, twist, balance and not make a constipated/puzzled face)

I’ve made a little collage of my front and back poses but am without make up, have bed head and am not wearing my competition suit since I don’t have it yet buuuuuuut I could probably be convinced to post it further down the road when it can be used as a “before” photo. If enough people comment and say that they DO want to see it then I’ll make sure to include it in the next week or so.
If anyone has any topics that they want to hear or see more of, let me know…. otherwise you’re getting a whole lot more of whatever the hell pops into my head that day!

I saw this when I was waffling with committing to doing a competition and it really made my decision clear.

NeverGiveUp

Ya’ll thought I’d quit… didn’t ya. HA! Nah…

I do have to admit that I wrote this post on my cell phone (we were in the boonies, sans computer or wifi or something on and off for the last few weeks) and so this is a touch out dated, but it’s part of my journey none the less so here ya be.

I have had a bit of a rough go this last month of training. Ups and downs when it came to sticking to my diet (birthday, anniversary, summer BBQ’ing); finding time to workout out when I’m being pulled in all different directions by my hubby, his job, our kids, family, my photography business, desire to sleep, etc. That being said there will ALWAYS be excuses, I mean there’s never going to be that PERFECT time to start a workout, diet or new lifestyle so what are we always waiting for? I know there is the old saying “there’s always tomorrow” but that’s not entirely true, the only guarantee in life is this very moment. (Well, that and death) so one could now insert another well known quote “carpe diem”. What I am getting at is there will always be pros and cons, for and againsts or positive and negative sides to each situation. What matters is the attitude with which you tackle everyday choices. I know that occasionally I struggle with keeping my goal in the forefront of my brain when I’m hungry and faced with things like ice cream, cakes of all varieties, A&W, CHEESE, pop, poutine, pizza, maple bacon anything… Ah yes. I have learned a few tricks over the years that work for me to help me keep it all in perspective but that’s a whole ‘nother blog.. *make note on my phone to blog about keeping my eye on the prize*
I guess where I was subconciously going with this post was that if you set a goal for yourself you had better make darn sure that you want it more than what you want right at this very second. I have seen a quote floating around the Twitter’sphere and on Instagram that goes something like this “Don’t give up what you REALLY want for what you want right now”. It’s true, you really need to WANT your goal as much as your body WANTS air when you’re suffocating.. a little extreme? Perhaps, but it’s a good mental picture and gets a person’s attention when distracted by mouthwatering foods or the snooze button.
I will leave you with just a short little list..
1. I promise to blog more frequently so you don’t need to re-read all my old posts to remember who the hell I am.
2. I just looked, HOLY SHIT BALLS! It says I already have 815 people subscribed to my blog… Feckin’ Eh!! 🙂 Thanks freennddzzz!
3. I’m trying to get my 4 year old to move into my basement bedroom so that I can reno and steal some space from his current bedroom to make our bathroom bigger… does this make me a bad parent?
4. I’m always looking for some new music for my playlist to distract me during cardio.. please share a favorite of yours? Or 5
5. I’m a closet TV junkie… perhaps a little less closet, a little more junkie. I have a goddamn app on my phone called TV Show Tracker.. I may or may not have already programed 4 of my fav shows for this fall… *note: this was 2 months ago already* **insert that little creepy all teeth emoticon that you can make on an iPhone**
6. Crispy Mini’s Dill Pickle flavour… goddamn!! Yum-O!

Ooootay.. bye for meow 🙂

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, no wait, it’s, A SPARTAN!

One day I’m going to run out of cheeseball titles and you will all be sad and disappointed I’m sure, but until that day! HA! this is MY house (errr blog) and I ain’t nobody got time for boring, plain titles..NOT up in HERE!
Ok, what do you call 3 catchphrase massacres in my opening paragraph… ?
WINNING!!
I’ll give you a little history on how my magical 2013 began…

So my good friend Anna and I were bs’ing over some sophisticated vodka coolers a few months ago and I was toying with the idea of training for a half marathon this year as a 2013 goal. I asked her if she’d be interested in doing it with me as she is an avid gym goer. Needless to say, the thought of training to pound pavement for 21.1km’s didn’t exactly set her knickers on fire so after a few more ‘sounds like a good idea generators’  (aka Palm Bays) she proposed we sign up for a Spartan race. For those of you who don’t know what this feel free to check out http://www.spartanrace.com. I think we decided in February or March that we’d do this.. in the mean time, we added another event to our goal to complete list. We both participated in the 160km Skeena River Relay race, now I know, 160km? DANG, these girls are INTENSE! Yep, that’s how we roll!
Ok fine, even 16km might be a stretch lol but we did join a team of 10 people who ran anywhere from 10.2-21.1km legs. I managed to do mine in a Personal Best time of 51:55 for the 10.2km leg. Fast forward 5 weeks, we both packed up our families, travelled over 2500km’s total and conquered a Spartan Sprint (5km and 15+ obstacles) in Edmonton. Now would be a good time to do a mastercard commercial:
Spartan registration $75
Hotel for 3 nights $387
Continental breakfast per adult $25
Valet $30
3 afternoons of shopping at stores you only get to see in person (not online shopping) FACKIN PRICEY!!!
My poor Visa tried to curb my shopping spree by killing my chip only a day or so before we left but I would not be deterred. Shopped. My. Ass. Off. Good thing I have big solid babies who can do a week or 2 without dinners… (I’m only kidding… you can put down the phones people, no need to call Child Services)

Oh yes, back to mine and Anna’s planning adventures. Everything sounds so good “on paper” until it’s time to put in the work!! Cue motivational quote #1:

“Commitment is doing the things you said you’d do, long after the mood you said it in has left you.” – Anonymous

Prep for the relay race and the Spartan were great motivators though. I know all too well how easy it is to fall into a rut of complacency because you aren’t actively working towards a goal in the near future (up to 2 months). I think that’s part of the reason why I’ve been able to stick to eating healthy (with the odd treat WEEKEND instead of just meal, sorry Caitlyn.. hehe) and regular exercise. Which brings me to what I think is my final goal for 2013 and something you all already know about, if you’ve been reading my blog (which, is only 4 posts including this one, so really, if you’ve read any of my posts lol)
the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic in early November. A few words that setting this goal make me feel are… pride, excitement, anticipation, belief, determination, self respect, and admiration for what my body can do.
I’m really looking forward to adding “bikini athlete/competitor” to my next resume, it’s bound to be a conversation piece if nothing else. Cue motivational quote numero deuce:

“It isn’t how badly you want it, it’s how hard you’re willing to work for it!”

Now go out and set a goal that scares you! Dare you.

Speaking of Lists & a Virgin…

I’m going to start out by making a couple of lists..

Things I am NOT: an essay connoisseur, quiet or reserved, Martha Stewart (no one will argue this if they’ve seen my house), overly patient, a virgin (in case my having 2 children with my big german head didn’t give it away)
photo(2)
Things I AM and DO: swear.. often (sorry Mom, I know you tried), enjoy getting up at 4-5am everyday to enjoy a quiet coffee before the chaos of having little kids ensues, Class 1 driver, have a small photography business with my sister in law, am constantly enrolled in some sort of distance education, dive into things headfirst with a lot of determination and this is where my post title actually comes into play, I’m a bikini competition virgin.

As I mentioned initially, I’m not much of an essay writer so for those of you following my blog you can expect at least 3 things:
1. more lists and giant run on paragraphs with minimal organization littered with some photos of whatever happens to catch my attention (note how this is already a list…)
2. an honest account of my experiences and some cursing (Sorry Caitlyn but as my coach odds are pretty good it’ll be directed at you… or Tim because he lives with me)
3. randomness – yellowbellied sapsucker anyone?

photo(1)

Guess I should actually mention something about where I’m at in terms of preparing for the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic (btw this is the name of the competition I’m in the process of registering for, gawd I’m a terrible writer, sorry everyone). I’ve recently been in touch with Caitlyn Bellamy (of Revolutionary Fitness & Nutrition Consulting, she’s on FB, so check her out!) who I’ve chosen to be my coach and mentor throughout this process (HA! Lucky you Caitlyn) and she is putting together a plan for me. Until I get my training & nutrition plans I’m just doing my own thing in preparation for the Spartan Sprint in Edmonton on June 29th.
The Spartan is one of my 2013 goals; I started out this year with a couple goals in mind and as I achieve them and continued on my path with health and fitness as a priority, I just find myself adding to the list!! (yes, I’m aware I am the queen of lists).
I’ll do a post in the future about how 2013 started off for me, what my goals were and what they are now… it’s only June, plenty of time to add to my list!!!

What are some of your goals for 2013???