A Fluff to Buff update. A Fluff to B-update?

I can’t even explain how wild my 27th year has been. I’ve had my heart broken more times in one year than I think I had in the first 6 of my 20’s combined. A boyfriend, a fiancé, more than one best friend… Each one a shittier heartbreak than the last, and not one of them done at my hands. My judgment has betrayed me, and in return I have a harder time trusting people now than I ever thought I could, and that includes myself. There’s nothing more terrifying to me than feeling like I can’t trust myself to make my own decisions.

I’ve continued to train consistently for the entire year, but my food and alcohol intake has gone unmonitored, and untracked- thus contributing to some weight gain. Nothing drastic, I fit into all of my clothes- just not the way I would like to. I’ve ‘started over’ no less than ten times this year, and have yet to be successful in getting myself back to where I am physically comfortable being. It almost seems that every time I get back on the wagon, my personal shit hits my personal fan and knocks me right back off. I document my life on social media, and with that comes a certain level of judgment from my followers. There’s an online forum dedicated to trash-talking ‘social media celebrities’ and as it turns out- I have my own thread there. Pages and pages of strangers bashing every little thing I’ve done and said. I haven’t looked at it in over a year and I plan to never look at it again- but I know it’s there. I’ve become nervous to post and to be honest, because when I fall and when I fail- I am judged for it. I’ve become nervous to post the posed photos I have fun with, because I am judged and called conceited and a narcissist. I am not conceited, I am confident- I’ve merely fought my way out of the shallow end of the self-confidence pool and try to keep myself swimming in self-love. It’s tough to do when just three short years ago I was my own worst enemy. I try to understand that not everyone will understand what I’ve gone through to get to where I am right now and I have to remind myself that this is not my burden to bear.

I’m currently in a job that I have absolutely no passion for. I stay because I need to pay the bills, but I am actively planning for the next moves in my life. The office life drains the enjoyment from my days, and it’s taking its toll on me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I have financial goals that are not being met, and therefore have decided to take on a second job that I will work in the evenings and on the weekends. This is to speed up the saving process, to hopefully have my financial goals met by the end of 2015. This is going to be a hit on my life in the gym, but this is a sacrifice I have to make for the time being.

I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have a mother and a father who act as the weights holding me down when I want to fly away, they are truly my best friends and I would be more of a mess than I already am if I did not have their love and support. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have a sister who, while I generally want to punch in the throat 67% of the time, has my back 150% of the time- no matter what. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have the most understanding, quirkiest, and reliable roommate anyone could ever ask for. She’s held me in my darkest moments and is always there for last minute first date outfit advice. These people are my constants- the foundation of my life that keep me safe from the floods.

I turn 28 in a month and a half, and I am welcoming it with open arms. I am not in the least bit afraid of getting older- 30 is right around the corner and this does not scare me. Every day I wake up a little wiser, and with a little more life experience under my belt to use to help me get through the coming days. Every day I wake up just a little more sure of myself and my purpose, even if those ideals are still blurry. I will continue to strive for the clarity I crave, but am learning to not rush it. Every day I wake up a little more aware of what I want out of life, and a little more aware of what I’m not willing to settle for. Every day I wake up just a little more sure that I will one day have everything that I’ve ever dreamed of- just as long as I don’t ever stop moving forward towards it.

Last but not least- thank YOU. Thank you to the thousands of you that interact with me on a daily basis and that stay with me even while I’m paddling through the mud. Thank you for making me feel like the sun shines out of my ass even when I’m feeling down in the dumps. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve all of you, but you make me want to figure it out and to keep doing it. The only goal I have with Fluff to Buff, and as kylethegirl, and as just Kyle- is to be the kind of person that I was hoping to stumble upon back in the day when I first started my, unbeknownst to me at the time- LIFELONG, journey. Please know that while I don’t always respond- I read EVERY single comment. Every last one of them- so keep them coming. I wish that I could tell you how you’ve all shaped my life. The moves I’m planning on making and the things I want to do are a direct result of the way we’ve interacted with each other over the last three years- you’ve made me see that I had dreams I’d never before dreamed of.

My lovely Fluff to Bufferflies- where would I even be without you?

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The Break-up Breakthrough

A friend of mine asked, “Do you miss him?

I had to stop and think about my answer before I responded. My initial thought was ‘No,’ but for some reason I couldn’t say the word confidently. Why was I hesitating? I know with every fiber of my being that there’s not a word he could say, an action he could do or a promise he could make that would get me to take him back- so what did my hesitation mean?  I thought back over our year and a half together, the laughs and the vacations and the deployment… and what really stuck out in my mind was how in the end, I felt it was all for nothing. Every dinner cooked, every dish cleaned, every surprise planned, every care package put together- everything I did all day long was in hopes that it would make his days easier, his worries less, his daily load lighter. I put him before me 100%, and where did that get me? It got me crying in our roommate’s lap as he carried the last of his things out of the apartment that had become our home.

My next thought was that although I’d been burned, there’s not a damn thing that I could or would have done differently. I can look at that relationship in its whole and say with every bit of certainty possible that I did everything I could- from day one. He knew he was loved, he knew he was taken care of; he knew just how much I believed in him and how special I thought he was. He knew that there was nothing I wouldn’t have done for him. It’s simply who I am when I’m in a relationship. I am a kick-ass girlfriend, and I love doing those things for the person I love. There were times when I didn’t feel as if he was holding up his end of the relationship emotionally, but I quickly quieted those concerns in my head; ‘It’s not that big of a deal, I don’t need more, I’m asking too much, just keep giving- just keep giving.’ He would tell me he loved me, reminded me that I could ask him for help if I needed it, and always did household chores without needing to be prompted to do so. But his needs came before mine because I refused to speak up and ask for what I wanted or needed in fear of being ‘needy’ or ‘whiny’ or ‘high maintenance’. We slept with a fan on despite my constant freezing to the bone- because he ran warm. We went to the gym when he wanted to go to the gym because he dreamt of being a bodybuilder. Even my historically poor relationship with food couldn’t be repaired because I would rather eat what he thought I should be eating than listen to his comments about the choices I would make. It was an intensely imbalanced relationship that I fought to keep that way simply because his happiness and comfort was more important to me than mine. Despite pouring everything I had into it, he left; finally ending the relationship after a week of nightly deliberations on our balcony, no longer able to fight his urge to run off and be the 22 year old boy he didn’t feel like he was getting to be. No matter how many times I tried to tell him I was in no rush to be married, and no matter how often he told me it didn’t matter- the five year age difference between the two of us terrified him. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was just moments away from being guilted into buying a diamond and diapers.

I’ve learned lessons over the past two years, maybe the difference between compromise and sacrifice being the most valuable. There was nothing wrong with my wanting to make his life easier or my wanting to do things for him out of love and concern for him. Where I went wrong was wholly ignoring the fact that I was just as worthy of these things as he was. I’ve learned that not only is it okay for me to ask for what I feel like I want, need, and deserve from a partner- but that it is necessary in order to keep the balance and stability that a relationship requires. Moving forward with this knowledge is a slow process, much unlike the whirlwind that was falling in love with him.

It’s been six months without him, and for the most part- I’m happy. I don’t like my job, and some nights feel lonely- but the return I’ve gotten from the split has been so much greater than the negative. In losing him, I got back this part of me that I hadn’t even realized had gone missing. I continue to surprise myself as the time goes on, as I learn that the person I was with him isn’t the person I’m meant to be. I’m meant to be bold and fearless, and far less accepting of the average treatment I’d become accustomed to. When we met two years ago, I had just lost 60lbs and had no business going into a relationship when I hadn’t even figured out who my new self was- my self-discovery was put on the back burner as I assumed the identity of a girlfriend. My inner-self hadn’t caught up to my new body yet, and I went into that relationship still weighed down with all of the insecurities I hadn’t yet learned to shrug off.  My time with him was a validation of sorts, and I kept it close to me for as long as I could out of what I can only think to describe as desperation.

In breaking my heart, he set me free to finish the journey I’d set out on three years ago. I don’t miss him. I missed me- I was gone for far too long

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WARHOUSE.

“My name is Dana Linn Bailey, and I win shit.”

I first discovered Dana and Rob a little over a year ago, and was immediately hooked on Rob’s music. To this day- there’s nothing better to listen to in the gym to ensure you’re getting the sick-nastiest workout possible. It’s tough, it’s real, it’s harsh- it’s got a fire within it- just like Rob and Dana do. It’s been so much fun watching Rob and Dana EXPLODE even just in the last year that I’ve known of them, it seems like there’s no stopping them. Flag Nor Fail has turned into this brand that cannot be topped. I can literally FEEL the hard work and the dedication in the pieces that Rob creates, as if his actual blood is spilled on every order. And then there’s Dana- who almost can’t be described in words. To me and my friends, she’s nothing short of a goddess- and we really look up to her. She’s the absolute best at what she does.

It took me almost a week to finally sit down and write about my experience at the WARHOUSE. I think this is because it was such a whirlwind of a weekend that I still haven’t fully processed.   To understand what this weekend was for me and to give Dana and Rob and their staff at the WARHOUSE the praise and the dues that they deserve isn’t possible without a small understanding of who I am and where I’ve come from. Without delving into the entire sob-fest that is my ‘transformation’, let’s just say that two years ago I had no idea this world even existed. I was 70lbs overweight, and completely disgusted with myself inside and out. Something ended up snapping inside me one day and a year later I was on a stage in a bikini competing in my very first competition. I’ve gone from being extremely overweight and unhappy to being in good shape and having the time of my life. I have a relatively substantial social media presence though Facebook and Instagram, and have huge dreams of being able to create a life out of helping others chase and smash THEIR goals.

To say that I’ve created some incredible friendships through Instagram might sound crazy to someone who doesn’t understand the magic that is Instagram- but to those of us who know it, it couldn’t be any more of a real thing. I spent my weekend traveling to and being at the WARHOUSE with a group of women that I knew thanks to the internet, and thanks to Dana and Rob. Internet matchmaking at its finest!

There are so many amazing pieces of the weekend that deserve so many words of their own, I hardly know where to begin. We walked into the WARHOUSE Saturday morning, absolutely PUMPED despite the few hours of sleep we’d gotten the night before. We walked around gathering samples from the various vendors and sponsors, loading up on all the most delicious protein goodies you could possibly dream of. I tried MuscleEgg for the first time, snagged a couple RIDICULOUS samples of protein pudding from Muscleicious Foods, and drank the most amazing Peanut Butter and Jelly flavored protein smoothie from Evolution Station… We were practically in protein comas for the weekend! Did round one of shopping in the Flag Nor Fail store before the camp was officially underway, and it was not my last. They fill the store with excess merchandise, or prints that may have been flawed in some way or another and couldn’t be shipped out. Flawed, EXTRA fucking cool, whatever you want to call it.

            We all took our seats and Dana took center ‘stage’ on a foldout chair atop a giant tractor tire, with Rob to her right and bodybuilder Guy Cisternino on her left. First impression? Dana is absolutely STUNNING. You see her on the internet, and of course you see that she’s pretty- but a part of you HAS to wonder if some of that is just the magic of the internet, and viewing her through a computer screen. But up close and in person, Dana Linn Bailey is nothing short of absolutely beautiful. She’s wearing long leggings and an off the shoulder sweater, and although you can definitely see her shoulder caps and her quads through her clothes- she is healthy, and FEMININE and just beautiful. Definitely a sight to see.  

“My name is Dana Linn Bailey, and I win shit.” YES. YES MA’AM. That’s what I’m talking about. Dana starts with a chat about her childhood and growing up as a multi-sport athlete, going into when she met Rob, got into lifting, and her journey to the stage and beyond- with a couple interjections of clarifications from her hubby. When talking about training, nutrition and contest prep, she and Guy go back and forth about their methods, things they’ve learned over the years, and how important it is to realize that everyone is different, and that different theories of dieting and training will work for different people. This really hit home for me- as that’s what I try to tell people all the time. You need to try as many things as you feel like you need to try, because you never know what’s going to work best for you, what your body is going to respond to the most.

            Rob took a turn to speak about business- which had to have been one of my favorite pieces of the entire camp. The man is full of fucking fire, and that’s all there is to it. He speaks with strength in his stance, passion in his voice, and when he talks about Dana’s worth- a catch in his throat and water in his eyes. He speaks in such a way that when he says “We’re going to take over the fucking country,” you don’t question the statement. He doesn’t speak in speculation- he speaks in force and commitment. When it comes to Rob Bailey, there IS no question.

            We broke for a catered lunch before hitting the store again (still not the last time) and then Rob and Dana went through the raffle. The best part was that they made sure EVERYONE won something.  Shortly after the raffle, we went into more in depth training information as Dana and Guy walked all of us around the gym. They talked about each muscle group, and their favorite ways to train them. You think you train hard- and then you watch Dana do an example set of some leg extensions- and all of a sudden you understand how she has the quads she does. You understand why she’s the best- because she does what no one else will do.

When the gym go-through was over, she had a bunch of us girls meet her in the back room for posing. I competed in bikini last year, so I strapped on my 5 inch heels and stood up with a few of my girlfriends for Dana’s bikini advice… And when it was time for her to dish out figure advice- I stayed up there. Figure has always been something that had interested me, but I always felt was out of reach. After watching me pose, Dana told me that I could do figure. BOOM– world flipped upside down. To my back pose she said ‘That looks good, I like.’ And I’m standing there like SERIOUSLY? What an amazing feeling. Who better to tell you that your posing looks good than Dana Linn Bailey herself? No one- that’s who.

            After a long day, my girlfriends and I get dinner at the local Texas Roadhouse before heading back to the hotel to rip into our amazing goodie bags that we had gotten upon arrival that morning.  Huge backpacks from 1st Phorm (valued at over $100 apiece) were the vessels for more samples, blender bottles, tee shirts and drawstring bags than a girl could ever expect. These backpacks full of goodies from Cardillo Weight Belts, Liquid Sun Rayz, Gaspari Nutrition, MHP, Metabolic Nutrition and many more- MORE than paid our fares to the camp. These were EXPENSIVE packs, and were worth a TON of money. Someone asked if I’d be giving my 1st Phorm backpack to my bodybuilder boyfriend… Uh, fuck no.

            After getting a couple more hours of sleep, we headed back to the WARHOUSE on Sunday morning for open gym. We didn’t really get in a full comprehensive workout like we’d planned, but we got to try some of the really cool equipment that our gyms back home don’t have- like a ladder bar for the lat pull downs, MAG bar grips for pull downs and rows, and a couple pieces of equipment they had made custom by Area 51 Industries. It was more of a test drive of the gym, and trying out equipment we don’t get to work with on a daily basis. I didn’t even get a full back workout in- and I was sore later that day on the drive home. It’s all about changing things up!

            So yeah. The vendors were awesome. The sponsors were sick. I got free shit. I got fed. I played with Rob and Dana’s dogs. I worked out. I met some cool ass people I’ve been friends with on the internet for a long time. I posed with Dana Linn fucking Bailey and joked around with Rob…

But most importantly, I left Pennsylvania with a brand new fire lit under my ass. Rob said at one point, ‘Just go and fucking do it. Why the fuck not.’  I was planning on doing another bikini competition this summer, but if what I really want is to compete in figure, then why the hell would I not do just that? What am I waiting for? If what I really want is to become a certified personal trainer, and to help others get what THEY want out of their lives- then what the hell am I waiting for? Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve talked to my coach, we’re changing my programming to accommodate a figure show this fall instead, and I’ve started the enrollment process for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. There is literally nothing that can stop me from reaching every last one of my goals except for myself- and I won’t let that happen. I CAN’T let that happen.

The fire in the hearts of Dana Linn and Rob Bailey is nothing if it’s not genuine and INFECTIOUS.  It spread through the WARHOUSE like- well- like wildfire, leaving nothing untouched and no one unaffected. The WARHOUSE Gym Camp is one of those things that I HAVE to do again, I feel like I could go again and again, hear the same spiels, and take away something completely different each and every time.

To Dana and Rob– thank you so much for creating this magical thing- whatever it is- that’s happening and ever evolving. You treat your fans as friends, and recognize that we’re all die-hards. Then again- with you, die-hard is the only way to be about anything.

 

Never settle, right?

 

Kyle Kucharski    IG @kylethegirl    www.facebook.com/flufftobuff    www.flufftobuff.me 

 

 

 

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An e-mail from a follower;

A lot of the e-mails I get have a lot of the same questions and themes so I just thought every once in a while maybe I’ll answer one here- No worries- I will never use names. And if you specifically do NOT want me to use an e-mail (even though it’s anonymous) just say so in your e-mail. Otherwise, it’s officially game lol. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail I received recently:

“…. I attribute much of it to my job; I used to be on my feet all day and now while working on my Masters I’m nannying, aka sitting on my butt most of the day. Where do I even begin? I have been-loosely-using Weight Watchers off and on this year. When I really stick to it, I see great results! But it can be difficult to track EVERYTHING I eat, especially with homemade meals. I would like to get down to 150, to start with. What is a realistic expectation and time frame?”

The mere notion that I might be able to give anyone an estimated timeline for their success is preposterous. Your success is DIRECTLY correlated to how much effort you put into it. I can tell you that I lost 60lbs in six months, but I was very overweight, I was committed to eating a certain way, and I went to the gym EVERY SINGLE DAY, sometimes putting in three hour gym sessions. There was nothing I wanted more than to lose that weight, so I literally devoted every second possible to attaining that goal. I can tell you that, but that has nothing to do with you, the things you want to achieve, or how hard you work. There is no chart that can tell you if you put in X amount of time at the gym a week and you eat well x amount of the time that you’ll lose X amount of pounds in X amount of time. THERE IS NO ANSWER! If you WANT to lose weight and see change, then DO THE WORK. Don’t worry about the time, it’s going to pass anyways.

I am the Sales and Logistics Coordinator for a large Military Brokerage Firm, which is a lot of words to say I sit at a desk in front of a computer full time. Full time. 40 hours a week. On my butt. And I’ve had this job since before I ever even thought about tackling my weight problem, so using your job as an excuse is just that- an excuse. I’m not saying these things to try and be mean or harsh or offensive or any of those other things I get called when I talk like this, I’m just saying that if you want what you say you want as badly as you say you want it- YOU WILL FIND A WAY. As for this follower specifically who is a Nanny? I would and will suggest to her that she bundle those kids up now that it’s getting cold out and take them to a park, or for a walk around the neighborhood… But again- I’m not here to tell anyone how to fit working out into their day- I’m just here to tell you that where there’s a will, there’s a way. I also don’t have a husband or kids of my own to consider during my days- but I have plenty of friends who do and still manage to make their fit lifestyles a priority of sorts.

As for the ‘Where did you start?’ question that’s pretty standard in e-mails, this is the part where I just copy and paste the link to the Facebook post I wrote about that very subject back in March🙂 https://www.facebook.com/notes/fluff-to-buff/where-did-you-start/508023985922961 That usually answers all the questions associated with that!

I guess that’s it for this one- I hope I was able to make my point in a way that makes sense. There is no cookie cutter way or time frame to making these things happen. Work hard, eat well, stay consistent- the results will come.

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the mother of all meal prep posts

I don’t ever know what to say when people ask me how much money I spend a week on food… I don’t always buy the same things, I don’t always need the things I may have needed the week before, I don’t always shop at the same store… There’s just no way I can give a concrete answer to that! I’d say PER week, depending on what I need or what I want, $50-$75.

Yesterday I went to the local Farm Fresh:
receipt
photo

The sour cream and the Tostitos are for my dad, since I bought soooo many avocados I figured I’d make him some guacamole.

SO. I DIDN’T buy tilapia because I already had some, and I DIDN’T buy oatmeal because I already had that too.
I don’t EVEN know where to start with all of this -__- .

I cooked the chicken and the turkey all at the same time. I put the 2lbs of turkey in one frying pan and sprinkled Mrs. Dash Table Blend on it and cooked it until it was done.
turkey
cooking turkey

I cut all the chicken up into chunks, and cooked it in a frying pan on the stove as well, I put onion salt, garlic powder, paprika and Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper on it. I always get asked how I keep my chicken from drying out, and I have no idea what to say. There isn’t a trick I don’t think, I just don’t over cook it! NO that does not mean UNDERcook it. Just COOK it.
chicken
cooking chicken

After the oven was preheated to 425 F, I poked holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork and stuck them in the oven for an initial 45 minutes. After checking them when the time was up, I think I ended up cooking them for 10-20 minutes more than that, I like them soft. When they’re cooked and soft, they come out of the skin really easily, so I take them out of the skin and just portion them out for where I want them in my daily meals. I didn’t season them with anything this week, they’re just so good just the way they are. I’ve been known to sprinkle them with salt and pepper, or truvia and cinnamon, but nothing this week.
sweet potatoes

THEN, I boiled 39 eggs. Yes. 39. 20 for me for the week (4 a day), and since I was already doing it, I boiled some for my parents as well. WHAT A SWEETHEART RIGHT. I put all the eggs in a big pot, and then I put just enough water in the pot to cover all the eggs. I sprinkle some salt into the water, (lowers the boiling point of the water, making it heat up faster. WHATS UP TENTH GRADE CHEMISTRY.) cover the pot, and put in on the stove on HIGH. When it starts boiling, (BOILING boiling, big bubbles) I start a timer for TWELVE minutes and remove the lid. I don’t know why 12, that’s just what MamaTheGirl taught me and it works every time. Once the timer goes, I usually take my time getting to it, I tend to think that I’d like to just make sure they’re nice and boiled haha so mine probably end up going for thirteen minutes or so. I take the pot off the stove and put it in the sink, and turn the COLD water on. I let the water run (and spill over into the sink) so that all the hot water is eventually replaced with cold water. I let them sit like this until the water warms up and do it again, fill it with cold water. After they sit in the cold water for a few minutes, I peel them. I boiled 39 eggs last night, and EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM peeled LIKE A DREAM. Not a single problem.
eggs

I ALLLLLLLSOOOOO made brussel sprouts! I bought I think about a lb of sprouts, and cut them all in halves. I drizzled a little olive oil in a frying pan with some salt and pepper and sautéed the sprouts until they were tender and browning slightly.
cooking sprouts

SO! I don’t usually give details about my ‘meal plans,’ not when I’ve purchased them from people at least. But right now I’m just working off of what I’ve learned from other people, what works for me and what I like and want. So I don’t really mind sharing- since I didn’t pay for it! ‘NAWWHATIMEAN? Uh, disclaimer, I’m STILL not telling you what to eat lol. THIS IS JUST WHAT I’M EATING THIS WEEK.

BREAKFAST. I’m not doing morning cardio right now, just a little after my lifting in the afternoons, so I’m eating breakfast around 7am before I leave the house for work.
-1/2cup Quick 1 Minute oats with truvia (maybe some Walden Farms syrup if I feel CRAAAZYY)
-1 hard boiled egg, 3 hard boiled egg whites (Unused yolks go down the disposal with the shells)
-Cellucor SuperHD (Fatburner, energy, metabolism booster, appetite suppressant. DELICIOUS.)

MID MORNING SNACK. Around 10am, at my desk!
-3-4oz. chicken (I honestly don’t remember what I portioned out last night haha but it’s not a ton.)
-3oz. sweet potatoes
(what’s up phone charger. Side note, my phone is CONSTANTLY charging. I hang out with y’all so much, my phone is usually down to like 40% battery by 10am haha.
snacks

LUNCH. Between 12 and 1pm, depending on how work is going.
-5oz. ground turkey
-3-4oz. sweet potatoes
-3oz BRUSSEL SPROUTS! (I’m seriously so excited for these this week.)
lunches

PRE WORKOUT SNACK. I’ll eat this at work around 3:30.
-this week will be 4oz cottage cheese. They only sell these little single serving packages in FOURS which is STUPID because there are FIVE days in a work week, my sister said it’s a ploy to get you to buy two sets. I’M NOT FALLING FOR IT! I had a little cottage cheese already, so I just measured out 4oz into a container for the fifth day. TAKE THAT COTTAGE CHEESE PEOPLE!
cottage cheese

TEN MINUTES PRE-WORKOUT
-C4 DUHHHHH

POST WORKOUT
-1 Scoop Cellucor Whey Protein with 6oz water

DINNER. Like 8pm. I don’t pre-prepare dinner since I eat it once I’m home for the night.
-6-7oz Tilapia (I bake this in the oven at 425 F for 12-13 minutes, seasoned with whatever I feel like putting on it that night!
-Avocado (I won’t lie. I eat the whole thing. WHAT? I don’t want to waste it!)
-Either green beans or asparagus!!
-Cellucor BCAAs (SO good in lemon lime omg)

I SHOULD have another protein shake before bed, but I’ve been really bad with that lately. I’m also back to drinking about gallon of water a day. I drink 12oz of water with my SuperHD in the am, 12oz of water with my C4 before my workout, and about 10 with my BCAAs in the evening, so as long as I drink like 3.5 – 4 24oz bottles while I’m at work, I’m sure to get all my water in!

My meal prep for the week took me about 2 hours last night, which might seem like a long time, but that’s a week worth of meals I don’t have to think about or spend time on during the day. I’ve been prepping meals for a long time now so I’m used to it and I have systems down and I know how I like things so it goes pretty quickly. It might take you a while the first time but it’s so worth it. I think that was about as involved and comprehensive as I could possibly get with the meal prep post, I hope I was able to answer any questions you might have had!

If you’re looking for a sign- THIS IS IT.

I know you WANT to lose weight, and you WANT to be in shape, and you WANT to change, and be different and be proud of yourself…. But you have to ACTIVELY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. You can WANT it all day long, but wishing and hoping isn’t going to do a damn thing for your body or your health.

You have NO idea what you’re capable of. I remember shopping for pants almost two years ago, and the size 18s I was trying on didn’t fit. I absolutely refused to buy a larger size so I left without buying anything. I went and cried in my car and felt sorry for myself like I often did. I thought, ‘If I could just be a size 12, I would be happy.’ I knew getting to a size 12 would be hard work, but that felt attainable. I had thought that a size 12 would make me average, and that’s all I wanted. I never considered a size 10- I didn’t believe I deserved to be anything other than AVERAGE.

I felt as if I’d won the lottery when I finally fit into a pair of size 12 pants- and then thought I’d died and gone to heaven when they were too big and I had to get 10s. Little did I know, I was capable of so much more. Little did I know, my theory of being ‘big boned’ was bullshit, and that my 5’10” stature didn’t put limits on me like I thought it did. Little did I know- the body type I had hiding underneath 70lbs of fat would allow me to walk around 100% confident in size 4 jeans.

Here’s my point. YOU’RE CAPABLE OF SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE!!!! When you’re sitting around wishing and hoping that you could just be a few sizes smaller, a few lbs lighter, just a few notches happier…. That’s fine- goals are goals…. BUT YOU CAN DO MORE THAN THAT. Don’t SETTLE for ANYTHING. Don’t think that you can’t have the EXACT body you’ve always dreamed of, because you CAN. You don’t have to be average- you can be amazing. You ARE amazing. You are DESERVING. YOU DESERVE GREATNESS. You have it in you, you just have to tap into it, harness it, and USE IT.

THAT BEING SAID. I am NOT saying that your happiness is in any way, shape or form attributed to the number on the tag inside your jeans. I am merely using this EXAMPLE FROM MY OWN LIFE to show you that UNLESS YOU GO FOR IT, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO OR CAN BE.

Here’s the disclaimer I shouldn’t have to write, but I know I do. I’m 5’10” and a comfortable size 4. Back when I was big, if you’d said someone was that tall and wore a size that small, I would have immediately assumed they looked like a skeleton, that there was an eating disorder involved, or that it was otherwise unnaturally obtained and attained. That was my own ignorance clouding my judgment, as I didn’t understand different body types and shapes. So before anyone goes off telling me that a size 4 is too small for someone who is 5’10”- you’re misunderstood. I am currently still in the 150s, which is a PERFECTLY healthy weight for my height. I eat PLENTY of food- roughly 6 meals a day. And I work out HARD, and I lift HEAVY. Everyone’s body types are different, and my size 4 at my height is just as healthy as someone else’s size 8 at 5’10”. There are no rules, no guidelines, no charts that are going to tell you what size is ‘okay’ for you to wear at a certain height. I am healthy and balanced, and will not tolerate any notion of something otherwise.

I love you all, and I want the best for every last one of you. I want you to want the best for yourselves. Only you know what will make you happy- go for it.

Winner gets to workout with me. That’s what’s up.

Are you all sitting down? Okay listen up. Contest time.

Same entrance- go shopping at Cellucor.com, use my promo code ‘kylethegirl’ (which will get you 20% off and free shipping in the US). Forward me the confirmation email at kylethegirl.blog@gmail.com. (SUBJECT LINE ‘CONTEST’ PLEASE. This way I can keep the entries separate from regular emails!)

Here’s the fun part. What do you win??

There will be more than one winner. I don’t know how many- I haven’t decided.

Third place winners will get priiiize packs. I don’t know what’s going to be in them- I’ve got some sweet ideas though. Cellucor gear, samples, protein bars, WHO KNOWS.

Second place winners- ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS. We will be text buddies for a week, and it will be grand fun.

WHAT ABOUT FIRST PLACE? Here’s the kicker for first place. Gotta be in the Virginia Beach/Chesapeake/Norfolk/Hampton/Suffolk/Portsmouth/Newport News area.

First place winner (or winners) get to work out with meeeeee! That’s right. Details to be sorted after winners are chosen- We’ll figure out when, what time, you can pick muscle group. We’ll either go to my gym, your gym, Planet Fitness, something like that. We’ll get a MONSTER gym session in, and then maybe grab some lunch! WHADDYA THINK OF THAT?!

SO. Get to shopping, forward me your confirmation e-mails. If you’re local to me, and you want to be entered in for the workout, make sure you let me know. Otherwiiiise you’ll be entered for the prize back or accountability partner!

YOU HAVE ONE WEEK!!!!! Confirmation e-mails must be forwarded to me (with the subject line CONTEST by THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24TH AT MIDNIGHT.

Not all of your relationships will survive.

What else they don’t tell you when you venture to lose a lot of weight? Not all of your relationships will survive.

I’ve not only said goodbye to approximately 70lbs on this journey, but I’ve also said goodbye to a couple relationships in the process.

I had been best friends with the same girl since we’d met when we were five years old in kindergarten. She’d moved a town over while we were still young, and we sometimes go as much as a year or two without seeing each other- but we’d always been ‘best friends’ and when we DID see each other, things would pick up wherever we’d left them. It was in our early 20s that we started hanging out on a more consistent basis again, but it was a few years later when I was losing weight that we went our separate ways. And not so cleanly. We argued a lot, and could not see eye to eye on how our friendship was going, and ultimately ending. After 20 years, we’d grown out of one another. I saw her a week or two ago, we made brief eye contact- and that was it. The nail in the proverbial coffin, I guess you could say.

My long time boyfriend and I broke up about a month into my weight loss- our lives no longer matching up. We had been high school sweethearts, together on and off for six years, the last ‘on’ stretch lasting just over 2 years. In 2010, I moved 1200 miles away from everything I’ve ever known to live with him in the deep south, and had finally convinced him to move back to my hometown in the beginning of 2012. Summer came shortly after, and I had started to lose weight. As much as he would love to say I chose the gym over him- I simply chose myself over him. I had spent years making sure we lived as comfortably as possible, and that he was as happy as possible, and I had sacrificed a lot for that relationship. He was and is still a good guy, and I thought myself lucky to have had someone who loved me even when I couldn’t love myself. But it was on the journey to finding myself and losing the weight that I found I had to go at this thing alone. It wasn’t that he wasn’t supportive, but he didn’t get what I was doing or why I had to do it. On some level, he must have known it was time to part ways once and for all, because when I told him we had to break up- there was no fight. There was no begging or pleading, no promises of change or bargaining of any kind. He let me go with what seemed like ease, and it was then that I knew that even though it was the hardest thing I’d yet to do, it had to be done.

So not all of your relationships will survive- some of them may fizzle, fade, or completely implode…. But they do so for a reason. To make room for something better to come along.

One of the most annoying things you can say to a single person is that they’ll find someone when they stop looking, that something will come along when they least expect it. I wasn’t looking for anyone, I had ZERO intention of getting involved in any way shape or form with anyone until I had reached all my goals. I was literally focusing all my energy on myself and getting myself ready for the June competition. I had gone on a handful of dates with very nice guys, but had told each of them that there was no chance of a relationship developing until I’d finished this show. But alas, eight months and 60lbs into my lifestyle change- I met Jake and everything changed. I soon found out that the list of qualities I thought I wanted in a partner was ultimately a list of my own insecurities, as he taught me quickly that things like age and height are just numbers and have absolutely zero bearing on how people feel about each other. Everything I thought I knew about relationships went right out the window,  and we became inseparable almost immediately. I had been doing this contest prep on my own- and while the support of my friends and family was always invaluable, I didn’t have anyone that really understood what it was like to go through the things I was going through. I found that in Jake, and having someone to talk to about preparation frustrations proved to be a huge release. We had pretty identical meal plans (his in MUCH larger quantities of course!) so we cooked together, would be at the gym at the same time, would go to posing class together, grocery shopped together… We had become best friends, and each other’s go-to for everything.

We’re still in SUCH a good place- and I count my lucky stars every day that I’ve got him by my side. (Well. Figuratively at least. He’s in Florida for about two months right now haha.) We’re not without our flaws, of course, but we love each other, complement each other perfectly, and make a great team.

If you feel like even the slightest thing is off kilter in your life, don’t be afraid to take it on head on. Not all relationships are meant to last forever, and when it comes down to it- you have to look out for number one; YOU. Do what’s best for YOU, allow yourself to be selfish at times. Don’t forget that the most important relationship is the relationship you have with yourself. I fully believe that you cannot properly love someone else the way they deserve to be loved, unless you can fully love and appreciate yourself first. You are an incredible individual and you deserve all the happiness in the world. Believe that.

So in taking on this journey to a better me, hearts were broken and friendships crumbled… But not for nothing- in the long run, I have absolutely zero regrets about any of it. I’m a happier and healthier me, I learned how to love myself again, and I’ve got a great guy who is just as passionate about this life as I am.

 

jake IMG_3441

I wasn’t prepared for this.

When I decided to lose weight, the only thing I knew was that my body was going to change. That when it was all over- I was going to look different. And while I’ve since learned that this is a lifestyle change and that it will never truly be ‘over’, I could not have prepared myself for everything else in my life that was going to change along with my body.

Yes, I look different. I lost 70lbs and went from a size 18-20 jean to a size 4-6 jean. I used to wear XL shirts and dresses, and can now buy a Medium without trying it on. I can shop in standard department stores without the fear that the store doesn’t carry my size. I can wear a 2-piece bathing suit without being ashamed, and I can now wear tee-shirts without a tank top underneath to ‘hold everything in.’ I can wear dresses and other form fitting articles of clothing without Spanx- which was the devil’s idea, by the way. When I go shopping and decide not to purchase something- it’s usually because I just plain don’t love it, not because I can’t fit into it. These are all things I anticipated. These are things I expected. These are the things I WANTED.

But along the way, I began to notice other changes that I DIDN’T really think about beforehand. I went to a hockey game after I’d lost about 45lbs, and was pleasantly surprised at how different sitting in the tight seats were, as opposed to when I’d gone 6 months earlier. I got onto an airplane this past August for the first time since losing 70lbs, and raved like a crazy person to my boyfriend about how weird it was to be on an airplane and not feel like I was sitting in TWO seats instead of one. I can sit with my legs crossed for extended periods of time without them falling asleep. While I’m not even close to being ‘skinny’ or skeletal, I’m fascinated by my hipbones… by my collarbones… by my shoulders… I look at myself in the mirror OFTEN. A stranger on the street may think I’m being vain, but in a way- it’s not much unlike a visually impaired person after Lasik, or that video of the deaf woman after she got a device implanted that allowed her to hear… This body is new to me, and it’s fascinating.

No one could have prepared me for my newfound role in society. I never once expected to have a successful internet presence, to be recognized out in public, to be called an ‘inspiration’ on a daily basis. (I’ll never get used to that!) No one could have prepared me for the thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of people that would be contacting me from all over the world to ask me about what I’d done, about how I’d done, it, and about how they could do it too.

No one could have told me that at the end of the day, the actual losing of the pounds would be the most inconsequential part of the entire process.

I joke a lot about the crazy e-mails I get and the repetitiveness of certain inquiries, (I’m 5’10” ;) ) but I don’t often mention the other kinds of e-mails I get. On a daily basis, I get e-mails from people around the world who tell me that I’ve inspired them, that they’ve found a personal connection to my story and my journey and that seeing me conquer this dream shows them that they can do it too.  I hear from men and women, young and old, fat and skinny, pre-weight loss and post-weight loss, happy and depressed, hopeful and pessimistic, lost and found…. I hear from people from all walks of life, and I’m always surprised at the level of trust that people have in me, and what they’re willing to share with me. Fun fact, I’ve cried twice this week alone from e-mails I’ve gotten.

The physical portion of the weight loss journey, while important, is probably the smallest piece of the pie… Pardon the food reference… What many people don’t realize is how much of a MENTAL journey it is. You have to DECIDE to lose weight, you have to DECIDE to get up and workout, you have to DECIDE to trade some of your junk food for the foods you need to properly fuel your body. It’s all up to that brain of yours to MAKE your body to what you need it to do to make the changes you crave so badly.

I’m asked all the time about what workouts people should do and what food they should eat, or how to avoid snacking on junk food or how they can make themselves wake up in the mornings to go work out…. My replies generally consist of “I’m assuming you’re looking for an answer other than ‘Just do it.'” DECIDE. You have to DECIDE what’s worth it, make the choice, and commit. I don’t mind sharing my favorite tips from the gym or the kitchen- but when it comes down to it- all most people are really looking for is a push to do what they need to do, and that’s what I’m here for. I’m here as proof that when your mind is in the right place, you can do whatever the flying hell you put your mind do. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. You don’t need me to tell you what to eat.

I don’t think having lost weight makes me anything special, but for some reason complete strangers are comfortable in confiding in me and sharing their deepest and darkest secrets with me. They like having someone to talk to when they feel like maybe no one else will ‘get it.’ THIS. THIS is the most important piece of the puzzle. While I’m proud of myself for the physical changes I’ve made to my body- my favorite part about the whole thing is getting an opportunity to be there for the people who want to do the same thing, and who just need a little push to get them over the mental blocks that are holding them back.  This is my purpose and my reason.

No one could have prepared me for that.

WANNA BE ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS?

Getting up early for cardio SUCKS. Random food cravings and office temptations SUCK. Figuring out what to do at the gym SUCKS. But FIGHTING through all that SUCK is what builds character. AND MUSCLE. AND SHEDS FAT. AND MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER. AND MAKES YOU HAPPY AND CONFIDENT AND AWESOME AT LIFE.

Imagine you set your alarm to wake up really early in the morning to hit the gym.. The alarm goes off and you hit snooze, obviously. You’re laying there in bed, trying to squeeze in a few extra minutes of shut-eye and trying to justify skipping your cardio or the gym session you had planned. Then imagine you got a text message from a friend who was like, “YO. GET YOUR BUTT UP. CHAMPIONS ARE NOT MADE WHILE SLEEPING THROUGH GYM TIME. I’m going to the gym now, you’d best text me proof you’re at the gym within a half an hour.”

Wouldn’t that be fun?

And then imagine you’re at work, and someone brought in another damn dozen of doughnuts, and you’re close to caving. What if you had someone to text and be like ‘OMG I’m totally about to dive into this box of glazed goodness,’ and then this person texted you back and was like ‘UHHHH NO SIR OR MADAM. YOUR GOALS MEAN MORE TO YOU THAN THOSE DOUGHNUTS DO. YOU’RE BETTER THAN THOSE DOUGHNUTS. DON’T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.’

That would be neat.

Then imagine you’re heading to the gym after work and you wanna work legs but you have no clue what exercises to do. What if you had a friend you could text to be like, ‘Dude. I gotsta work on these stems but I cannot figure out what to do at the gym today,’ and then that friend texted you back and said ‘I GOT YOU BUDDY-‘ and then texted you her full leg workout?

WOULDN’T THAT BE FANCY?

Well.

What if that friend was me?

I THINK THAT WOULD BE FUN, NEAT, AND FANCY. 🙂

WELL WHAT DO I WIN??!!!

*A WEEK OF MEEE!!! Starting tomorrow morning, (Tuesday, October 1st) through next Monday evening, (October 7th). You get my phone number! I hate talking on the phone, and to be available to you all day- texting only!

I wake up at 5:30 on week days, and try to be in bed by 10 or 11pm. SO- depending on what you want or what you need, I will be at your accountability beck and call all day long. (Well, beck and text!) You want me to text you when I wake up to make sure that YOU’RE waking up? You got it. I have no problem whatsoever telling you to send me a picture message of you at the gym to make sure you’re doing what you said you would be!!

*WORKOUTS??!!! For the week that you have access to me- if you’d like, I’ll tell you what I’m doing at the gym every day- you can use this when you go to the gym, OR not- up to you. REMEMBER– I am NOT A TRAINER, I will not tell you what to do at the gym, but I can tell you what I’m doing, make suggestions, and give you my personal opinions based on experience.

*FOOD??!! For the week that you have me, I’ll tell ya what I’m eating all day if you want, but don’t be surprised when it’s the same thing 5 days in a row haha. I’M NOT THAT EXCITING. REMEMBER– I am NOT a nutritionist OR a dietician, I will not tell you what to eat, but can tell you what I’m eating, make suggestions, and give you my personal opinions based on experience.

(Are you noticing a trend yet? lol)

*QUESTIONNSSSSSSS??!! I’m an open book. Seriously- ask me anything! I’m yours for the week.

*TOUGH LOVE??!! I am ALL about tough love. If you enter- You’re telling me that you’re okay with tough love. I may say things like ‘Suck it up’ or ‘PUT THE DOUGHNUT DOWN DAMMIT’ or things to that effect. I will not be mean, as I am not a mean person. But I will tell it like it is!!

What do you think? I think this can be beneficial to you AND me. This will not only force YOU to make good decisions, and to keep your word to yourself, but this will also force ME to keep MY word.

IT’S ONLY 7 DAYS. I dieted for 25 weeks to prep for my competition, you can set some goals for yourself and follow through for seven days! GIVE ME ONE WEEK. ONE WEEK of tough love, free advice and support, and just see what happens. Who knows, one perfect week might be just what you need to get through a plateau, get out of a slump or to start your journey off right.

HOW TO ENTER:

Simple.

1. Go to www.cellucor.com and purchase ANYTHING. Seriously. I don’t care, I’m in LOVE with all the products, they’re amazeballs. (at the end of this post I will post a link to a note I wrote specifically about the majority of  my favorite Cellucor products.)

2. Use my promo code ‘KYLETHEGIRL’ at checkout, this code gets you 20% off and free shipping within the United States.

3. Take a screenshot of your confirmation email that shows that you used my code, and email it to me at kylethegirl.blog@gmail.com

4. DO THIS BY 9pm EASTERN STANDARD TIME, TODAY (September 30th, 2013.) I KNOW this is last minute and that means 6pm for those of you over on the west coast, but I want to be able to start with the winner tomorrow morning!!!

THAT’S IT. Shop. Purchase. Screenshot. Email. By 9pm EST. Seriously, I will not even open entries that are sent in after the cut off time lol.

SO GO SHOPPING! Remember, entries in by 9pm EST, I will email the winner by 9:30pm TONIGHT with my phone number, and at that point the winner can text me and we can set up our first day🙂

I’M SO EXCITED!!!

 

 

(the link below is where I wrote about the supplements I’ve been using lately. THE CONTEST IN THAT POST IS NO LONGER GOING ON.)

https://www.facebook.com/notes/fluff-to-buff/current-supplements-and-contessttttt/578358188889540