"Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dreams closer. "


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Competition Recap!

Warning this is long read if you like or skim or ignore. I just want to have this in writing in the history books (my blog - until something happens to it at least).

It has been a little over two weeks since the competition already. It is kind of like Christmas, you pepare for it for months before hand and you get SO excited then it is over in a flash like Christmas morning/day is.

First, I want to say that this is the hardest thing I have done to date physically and mentally FOR SURE. Harder than a 4 year college degree (that took me 10 years to get) and harder than the marathon, not that either one of those accomplishments were easy by any means though b/c they absolutely weren't.

Second, I want to say that I AM SO GLAD that I DID THIS and I would have always regretted it if I would not have went for it.

You guys know how I felt through the process from reading my journal for the past 28 weeks. It was a roller coaster with so many ups and down. Thankfully, I think the majority of the days I felt good and positive but when I was down it was rough but again, thankfully, those times quickly passed.

I am ABSOLUTEY AMAZED at what I was able to accomplish. I never really thought I would be able to stay that dedicated to the exercise THAT LONG and I never thought I would be able to stay THAT COMMITTED to the food THAT LONG...BUT I DID!! It just proves the point that you don't know what you are capable of until you actually DO IT and see what you can really do. We all TOTALLY UNDERESTIMATE ourselves, even me.

As far as the actual competition goes it was just GREAT. I really tried to soak it all in, kind of like my rehearsal dinner and wedding day when I got married. I really wanted to always remember that day and that weekend that was so special to me and J and the competition was a lot like that. I knew like a wedding event that this might be the only time that I ever do this so I wanted to lock it up in my memory for safe keeping.

Getting to Corinne's and seeing her and Joni first just warmed my heart. It was so great to hug them and see them in person. Then later Caroline and Bobby showed up and then Maggie and Jane and it was just GREAT. It puts a smile on my face thinking about it. Then the next day I get to see Lisa when she comes to pick up the crew then we get to the hotel in Chattanooga and we see Roxane and David. Let me tell you this, you think all of these women look AWESOME in pictures well you should see them in person. They were TINY!! All just SO SO SMALL and SO BEAUITUFUL. The pictures just don't to anyone justice in my opinion. I just kept staring at Joni and saying how small she was compared to the last time I saw her a year ago at Phat Camp. I just couldn't get over it. (All of the above people are members of Phit-N-Phat.com and we all did the competition together. 4 of us did the bikini division and 2 of them did the figure division)

Friday night we went to check in at the host hotel and that was our first glimpse of some of the other competitors. I don't know if I speak for everyone but I am pretty sure I do when I say we were in "awe" of so many of the women. When you know what it takes to do something like this and make it to the stage you just have a new respect for those women and men of course and you see their muscles and their physiques. It is just amazing.

To top it off, you won't believe this but when I was sitting there completing some forms I look over to my right and I see two girls that look VERY familiar and to my amazement once again was Becca and Jessica. Becca who is my trainer for this bikini competition with her husband Tim and Jessica who is her friend who are both from Michigan who I have gotten to know through their blogs and e-mail. They drove ALL the way from MI to support me and 2 other competitiors. I could NOT BELIEVE IT. Tears came to my eyes as I was thinking how supportive they have been and how they took time out of their life to come support me and they have never even met me in person until this exact moment. WOW! What good friends. I am SO BLESSED.

Then it was time to head back to the hotel to get our tan on. You guys the tan is so wicked dark. I think I stood there with my mouth open in amazement at how dark it was when sweet Maggie and Jane were painting it on. Bless their hearts they were just so awesome. They did everything for us and got up very close and personal with us. I told them I have never been up this close and personal with my lifetime friends but I felt totally comfortable with them. It was a funny moment for sure.

I forgot to mention that my parents had arrived after we got back from the check in and it was good to see them. I am so truly blessed to have such wonderful parents that drove so long to support me. They could not get over how good I looked and they kept telling me so. They are both just full of compliments which is always nice to hear. They were proud to say the least.

So bed time came as I slept on my own sheets that I brought with me to put on the hotel bed. Saturday morning was going to come early with a 4:45 alarm set. I hardly slept as you might imagine.

Oh and my girls and my husband were so great through all of this they just did whatever I needed them to do and they stayed out of the way when needed. My girls just stared at me with the tan. They didn't know what to think. Jeremy said "don't touch me." HA!! Jeremy said this weekend is about YOU so don't worry a bit about me. AWWW, SO SWEET. I AM SO BLESSED!

Saturday morning I headed to Corinne's room where the lights were bright and the getting ready process had already began. You know I had on a layer of tan already and you can't get wet b/c it will come off so I bent over the bath tub and Sweet Maggie washed my hair for me then I blow dryed and put it up in my famous velcro rollers while Joni was getting her make up done by Corinne. Then it was my turn and Corinne turned me into a DIVA!! What fun that was. Seriously, I felt like a ROCK STAR!! Then the BIG HAIR came down. Oh and I got another layer of tan in there somewhere. I forgot to share that my Saturday morning breakfast was a double cheeseburger plain with no bun. J had bought it the night before when he was out to eat and we put it in a fridge. Even though it wasn't warm I actually thought it was REALLY TASTY!

So before we know it is time to load up and head to the Tivoli Theater for a quick meeting of the competitors and pre-judging. It was just so cool being there and being a part of all of it and seeing the other competitiors with their tans on and their make up done and their hair did. JUST SO COOL!! Words can't really describe it.

Then it was time for pre-judging to start and I still wasn't too nervous...YET. Oh, also I had learned that there were 5 people in my bikini short class (it was divided into 3 parts, short,medium and tall) and they give trophy's to the top 5 so I knew I would get one. WOOT!! What a great momento.

The other 4 ladies in my class were all so sweet and as excited and nervous as I was as we were getting ready to go on stage.

I was standing waiting to go on and I was slightly nervous but not too bad but as soon as I stepped out from behind the curtain and actually onto the stage and saw the thousand judges staring at you and blinded by the stage lights I was scared to death! My heart was beating SO SO SO FAST and my legs were shaking. It was one of those moments that I thought my heart would beat out of my chest for sure. I smiled the entire time though. I tried to concentrate on that. I could hear my fans saying "GO 40 (my number)" and "GO DAWN" and the best one "GO MOMMY GO". I teared up at first but I knew I didn't want to cry so I dried it up and just soaked in the moment. I looked at the judges and tried to look at my family even though I couldn't see them I knew they could tell I was looking at them.

Then I did my thing on stage and stepped off the stage and SHEW that part was done. I had done it. I WAS A FULL FLEDGED BIKINI COMPETITOR!! The funny thing is that I wasn't scared at all about being in my bikini out there. I didn't care that people were seeing me in it. I felt so good about how I LOOKED that I wasn't bothered by that. I think it was just the judges and the people and the event that made my heart beat so fast and my legs shake but not that I didn't feel good about me.

It took my heart a little bit of time to slow down even after I stepped off the stage.
Then we had some down time after everyone was done. We cheered the others on which was such a great moment as well to see your friends that you know have worked so hard do their thing and accomplish such an amazing goal.

So we ate some lunch, I had a hamburger patty again and a diet coke and then we rested at the hotel then it was time to freshen up and do it all over again at the night show. You would have thought I would have been less nervous and I was hoping that I was BUT I wasn't. Still nervous and scared but it was still SO WONDERFUL knowing I WAS DOING IT!! I got my 5th place trophy and I was so proud. I teared up again when I was standing there with it.

I thought to myself "I REALLY DID THIS, DAWN, YOU REALLY are standing on stage in a bikini at a competition...WOW" Shew, I am tearing up right now writing this. I still can't believe I did it. SO PROUD, JUST SO PROUD!

So I will end my recap there, I could say so much more but that was it in a nutshell. What a life experience that I will NEVER forget. I am so thankful that I stepped out on a limb and chipped away at it little by little and stuck with it and just WENT FOR IT!! I will always remember this moment in my life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

HELLO from the BEACH!

I am having a WONDERFUL time with my family on the beach. I had planned to give you a big report while I was on vacation but I am just going to do it when I return so that I can focus on my family vacation for now.

I did post that new picture at the top of my blog this was me at the hotel between the pre-judging and the night show. I realize it is a BIG picture. I will have to mess with the size when I get back to my home computer instead of this slower laptop I am on.
FYI - On the morning of the competition after water/sodium deplete I weighed in at a very small 124.8!!! I could not believe it. To be at that for just a day was very cool. As of this past Friday, June 18th I weighed in just to see what I was at and I was at 132.4. Which I was very pleased with. Obviously, I knew I would not stay in the 120's and I am completely fine with that. Just trying to enjoy my vacation for now with a few treats but not go overboard. If I can stay under 140 through my vacation then try to settle in around 135 I think that is what I am hoping to do. Time will tell though. I have exercised 6 out of the 8 days that I have been on vacation though and I am SO PROUD of that. Frankly, I am in such the habit of exercising 5-7 days a week and I feel so much better when I do and I do not want to get out of the habit. I have been sleeping in until 6:45 and working out from 7-8 and can enjoy the rest of my day with my family while still getting my "me time" that my body and mind love.

Here are a few other pics too:

Here I am before my first layer of tan. The tan was WICKED DARK!! It was just so crazy how dark it was. I liked it though b/c it was so out of the norm.

I am getting my make up done Saturday morning around 5:30 AM by Corinne.

This is me and my dear friend, Joni, that did the bikini comp with me. She is with Phit-N-Phat also. This was at the competitors meeting before the pre-judging started on Saturday morning at 9.

Backstage before the pre-judging.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I DID IT! Brief check-in

Sorry for the delay in my post. We started our vacation a day early and we have not had internet. I am in the parking lot of a McD's at the moment posting this.

I don't have pics to share at the moment. I will though hopefully later this week when I download them and come back to McD's.

Just wanted to tell you that the competition was AWESOME!! It was an amazing life experience that I am so thankful that I did.

I have a new respect for those competitors. I obviously got a taste of what it is like to dedicate yourself to such a goal but it is a completely other thing to get out there on that stage with confidence. I was SCARED TO DEATH!! I had no idea I would be that scared and honestly I am glad I didn't realize it until I was already on the stage. My heart was about to beat out of my chest and my legs were totally shaking from the anxiety. I think I managed to smile and my friends said they couldn't tell I was that nervous. I think they were just being kind though.

I have a lot more to share about it but just wanted to start with that. I will have to go in more detail after my vacation which lasts a while longer so it will be another week and half or so before I share more. I have SO MANY people to thank also. I did not accomplish this goal alone that is for sure.

A major plus was that there were 5 people in the bikini short class that I was in so all 5 of us got trophys so I walked away with a 5th place trophy to always remember the moment and my accomplishment.

ok, that is it for now I could type for hours sharing everything but my family is ready to leave the McD's parking lot.

Thanks again for all of the well wishes. Can't wait to share the pics with you of my experience.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2 days

When I wake up in the morning I will have 2 days until the STAGE!!! I STILL CANNOT believe I am doing this.

I am feeling pretty good. TIRED still but I have been so busy preparing for our trip and running around like a chicken with my head cut off so I am sure that is playing into my tiredness.

Doing well on the 2 gallons of water a day although it is a challenge. I will drink 2 gallons on the road tomorrow. OY!! I wonder how many pit stops we will have to make. Oh and tomorrow is NO SODIUM day so the water should run right through me or it might start doing that towards the end of the day b/c I will still have some sodium in me from the past few days.

I am cooking up my chicken and getting I made my oatmeal into pancakes so that I can eat it on the road better. I have 2 servings of broccoli and then 1 oz of almonds that I will eat tomorrow.

Friday is my chicken, no sodium rice cake and no sodium peanut butter day. YUM, PEANUT BUTTER. I CAN'T WAIT to sink my teeth into that.

Oh and as soon as I step off the stage Saturday night I have a beautiful red/crispy fuji apple with peanut butter and a small package of pecan halfs. As I was at the store today getting last minute stuff for our trip I was thinking about what I wanted and I LOVE ME SOME PECANS so I got a small package (if I had a big package I would eat all of it).

Well I better get off here so I can finish my to do list before I hit the sack.

I am asking for prayers for our safe travel. We will be in a vehicle on a busy interstate for 10 hours or so.

If I can I will try to post Thursday or Friday but I am not guaranteeing it. I will for sure post on Sunday WITH PICTURES!!!!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

4 days out

Well the clock is ticking down and today I am actually too tired and have too much on my mind to think about it. I will be glad when Thursday AM get her and we are ready to load up in the car and head out.

You know what it is like getting ready for any trip...stressful! It will all work out though and we will have everything. If we don't we can buy it at a Wal-Mart.

I am just sitting here chugging my water. When you have to drink 2 gallons you are almost constantly taking sips it seems or sometimes I just have dedicated chug session every 15-30 minutes.

This afternoon on the agenda is a fresh painting on the toes and a fill of the nails then home to pack the girls clothes then my clothes after they go to bed. Tomorrow I am off work so it will be grocery shopping and food prep. Yes, I have to get groceries BEFORE I leave town to take with me for my food as well as for my kids and hubby. We are non-stop travelers except to pee. We snack and drink in the car. We will be stopping during lunch time tomorrow to visit my sister for a short bit then back on the road to Nashville.

I hope to make a brief post tomorrow then that will be it before I post the pictures on Sunday.

Thanks again for all of the comments and support and well wishes. I can't thank you enough.

Monday, June 7, 2010

5 days...REALLY?

I want to take a minute to thank ALL of you for the wonderful and encouraging comments you are leaving on my blog. MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!!!

I posted this on my Phit-N-Phat journal that I post to almost daily which is like my electronic diary basically. I wanted to share these thoughts with blog world too.

So last night J and I were on our way home from a college baseball game and I looked at him and started laughing and said "In 5 days I am going to stand on stage in a BIKINI!" "I am a working mother of two kids who was miserable in my body for 12 years and started a diet at least every other Monday and NOW I am about to stand on stage in a bikini." REALLY? Is this really me? I just can't wrap my mind around it. I know I have prepped for this for 27 weeks now but as of today it is only 5 days away and it is about to happen. I simply cannot believe it.

My weight dropped to 128.4 yesterday morning and I was in awe. Just never dreamed in my life I would see a number like that. Then I just looked in the mirror at my small somewhat muscular frame and just starred at myself. This is my body. This is ME! It almost feels like a long dream, it really does.

I am so excited for the whole experience and to be able to do this with what I consider true friends who are all so AWESOME and who are achieving their goals and dreams is just so surreal.

I truly am in awe of my accomplishment.

Friday, June 4, 2010

8 days out!! Peak week approaching.

Personal business real quick: TALIA, I got your comment. I am happy to help in anyway I can. Leave me another comment with your e-mail if you want and I will just contact you directly. I won't post your e-mail though to my comments page.

I am only 8 days out from the competition. WHOA!! It is seriously almost here. It will be next Saturday in the blink of an eye.

Oh, BIG NEWS...I broke into the 120's. I am at 129.6. WOOT!! The scale has dropped 2.4 pounds in the last 7 days. CRAZY!! My body finally just gave up from hanging onto it I guess.

So I have made it to the last week of competition prep. YAHOO!! They call this peak weak in the industry. HA!!

It is crazyness, you do a thing called a water deplete. I had no idea how this worked but now I do and I am sure there might be variations of it but here is what I will do:

I currently drink 1 gallon of water a day. Starting Monday through Thursday I will drink 2 gallons of water a day. As of Monday I will have NO more sweetner of any sort, no splenda, no crystal light, no Xtend (it has splenda) and no protein powder b/c it has artificial sweetner in it also. Then as of Thursday and Friday I eat chicken only that is boiled. I eat absolutely NO SODIUM whatsoever. Then Friday I drink 1 gallon of water up until 8pm then I quit drinking and the only thing I drink in a 24 hour period from 8 Friday night until after the comp Saturday night is 10 oz. of coffee for lunch on Saturday.

So basically I am dehydrated come Saturday for the show and I am just sucked dry as you might put it. My trainer says that not all bikini copetitors do this b/c it isn't always necessary and it was up to me if I wanted to do it or not. I decided to go for it. I want to get the whole experience and since I have come this far I might as well finish with a BANG! I know this will be tough and I am sure I have no idea how tough it will be. I will soon find out though.

The funny thing is that when I was training for the marathon I drank 2 gallons of water on average daily everyday for many many weeks and I purposefully ate lots of sodium b/c when you run long distances the last thing you want is to get dehyrated and cramp up. So you eat a lot of sodium then drink the water and you don't expel the water. It just soaks into your muscles I guess and hangs out for when you need it. What a different experience this will be.

I forgot to tell you that on Friday along with my boring chicken I get PEANUT BUTTER and rice cakes. Thank goodness, I will need something that taste good after a boring week of bland food with not much on it. Oh how I will miss my splenda on my eggs with my cinnamon and on my oatmeal with my cinnamon. It will be good for me though to show myself that I can go without it.

I did take progress pics this morning but I am not posting them. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! You only have to wait 9 more day for the finished product so that won't be bad.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I made it to the SINGLE DIGITS!!

Only NINE days until I step on the stage for my bikini comp. WOW!!

It cannot get here fast enough either. I am SO READY!!

My scale weight is coming down all of the sudden. I am at 130 flat. I am certain I will see those 120's before all is said and done.

I just cannot believe it is almost here and this goal is almost a reality. It blows my mind that I have actually done this. I wasn't sure I could pull it off when I started this process 26 weeks ago. I thought I might be able to but honestly I was scared to death of the thought of sticking to such a strict eating plan for SO LONG and then doing all of the exercise that is needed. It hasn't been alone that is for sure. I have had support and encouragement all around me (that will be an entirely seperate blog). I am so thankful for that.

Still marking things off my to do list before I leave town. Lots to get done.

Headed to get my teeth cleaned now so I can have some pearly whites.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weekend get-a-way to the BEACH!

My husband surprised me with a weekend get-a-way to the beach in Gulf Shores, AL. This is a long 11 hour drive for us but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT and I would do it again. We both LOVE the beach and it is so relaxing and beautiful (well now until the oil gets there). We had such a good time together. We enjoy spending time together but often with the hustle and bustle of life you forget that or you don't get to spend hardly anytime along without 1000 things on your to do list. You all know how it is. Anyway, we took some time to ourselves to enjoy life and that is exactly what we did.

I enjoyed wearing a bikini on the beach for the very first time EVER!! I was a little self conscious of it in the beginning but then as I started to look around I realized that although I don't look perfect in my bikini...97% of the other women in their bikini DON'T EITHER!!! The very few that looked really good were teenagers or early to mid 20 year olds. This was a great realization in my mind and I am so glad I figured this out. I embraced my flaws and felt GREAT about my strong body characteristics.

I didn't get very many pics actually and J and I didn't even get one together. BOO. The time went by too fast but it was still worth it.

Here I am on the beach in my BIKINI!!! This is our little area we had set up. The white sand is powdery soft and so beautiful.

Here I am with a close up just enjoying the sites. Oh it was a little piece of heaven.

My beach drink of choice:

Read this book from time to time when I wasn't looking around or closing my eyes getting a little nap.

My view from my beach chair.

The sand between my toes.

My breakfast at the condo. Bought egg whites at the grocery store (with cinnamon and splenda mixed in them, my favorite). Brought pre-made pacs of oatmeal with cinnamon and splenda as well for 3 breakfast mornings. To drink I had water with grape Xtend that I talked about last week.

This is how a bikini competitor does it on the road. My tuna mixed up with some spicy southwestern mustard kept in the cooler in the back. This was actually 2 servings. One for now and one for later.

Sliced cucumbers. YUM!

My single serving of almonds so I don't eat too much.

To top off my great beach trip I weighed in on Friday before I left at a new all time low of 132. Then I decided to weigh this morning just for kicks. Travel almost always shoots up the scale but not this time. It said I was down 1.2 pounds to 130.8. WHOA!!! I could not believe it I guess that is happen when you stick to your food plan and your metabolism is on fire. WOOT! I will take it.