IFBB World Qualifiers 2012

I’m very proud of DH.  Today he competed in the IFBB 2012 World Qualifiers (which our city hosted) and placed 2nd in the Men’s Lightweight Bodybuilding category.


DH plays a huge role is the progress I’ve made to date in terms of my healthy eating and exercise.  He supports me 110% and always pushes me to go a little harder.

DH trains all year long and doesn’t have an “off-season” so he was able to compete with minimal prep time and actually only registered for the competition 1 week ago.  Insane eh?!

It’s been a week of high protein, carb depletion, water loading, water depletion, carb loading and fat loading (I’m pretty sure in that exact order) but DH hung in there very well.  Slightly irritable and cranky but he still tried to be as calm and relaxed as possible.  Love him for that, because I’m sure if I was prepping for competition I’d be super cranky/grumpy.. hehe

And being as thoughtful as he is, he’s asking me where I want to go for breakfast tomorrow when really we should be going wherever he wants to go because he truly deserves it for all his hard work and dedication.

Last thing I’d like to mention is that in the 6 years that DH has been competing and I’ve been watching the competitions, the thought of training hard and competing to be on stage one day has never crossed my mind.  Now that I’ve experienced the progress I’ve seen in the past few months, I actually had the thought that I could possible train hard and see myself compete.  The thought of standing up on stage in a tiny posing suit terrifies me, so that’s definitely a fear I’d have to overcome.

Holy! Carb LOAD!


So it follow up on my potato chip lunch, I had a tater tot dinner.  It really has been a total carb load (or overload) day!  Also started and ended the day with a cup of coffee.

Tomorrow evening I have a exec meeting to attend for T’s nursery school (being the Secretary) so I’m hoping that I can get back to my workout routines tomorrow.

After finishing my day working from home (which ended around 5pm and actually will continue once I’m done with this post), the kiddies and I headed over to Costco to pick up some protein powder.  Costco carries the following protein powder:


And I gotta admit, this protein powder actually tastes delicious!

I remember when I first started drinking protein shakes, I would plug my nose because I could not stand the smell and taste.  If you’re thinking about starting with protein shakes you definitely need to try this brand.

Oh and another interesting thing, was after Costco and the kiddies supper at McDonald’s, we headed to Safeway where I saw this:


A coworker had mentioned that these coin changing machines could be found in Walmarts in the United States, and I didn’t think we had them here.  Turns out we do!  So I’m very excited to try and bring my jar of coins to trade them in for bills.

Great value = small cheat today

yummy chips!

Today is the first day that I am working from home and helping watch 4 kiddies (2 of my own, 2 of my sister’s).  It’s way harder than I imagined and I have to say that my mom/dad are superheros for watching all 4 kids almost every day.

With all the work I need to get through and the craziness at home, I found myself munching on some bbq potato chips.  I have to admit, they were delicious!

I’ll need to burn these extra calories off later today.  Hopefully work slows down and I can have a somewhat productive non-work related evening.

BRANana Bread.. yum!


I had a few ripe bananas so decided to make some healthy banana bread.  My favorite recipe is from the show “Eat, Shrink and Be Merry”.  Recipes can be found here:

BRANana Bread

I used less sugar and added Hemp Hearts in addition to the Flax seeds.


More info on Hemp Hearts.

DH is 6 days away from competition so he won’t be having any of the banana bread.  I feel a little guilty baking when DH can’t even enjoy the baked goods.  In 7 days though, DH will be able to indulge in all foods again.

Today we went to the gym and it was a tough work out.  I felt stronger in my legs but I found my back exercises very difficult.  I suspect I may have drained all my energy on my leg workout but it’s alright, I tried my best.

Meals weren’t the healthiest today, I had a small portion of noodles and sesame chicken and then had a plateful of oven-baked tater tots.  hehe.. it’s a little funny that I make sure to include “oven-baked” to somehow make me feel better about the cheat.

Tomorrow I am back to work and back to my regular meals/snacks.

  • Multigrain bread w/ natural peanut butter
  • Strawberries w/ Cottage Cheese
  • Grilled Steak and Spinach salad
  • Almonds
  • Dark chocolate

With DH’s competition coming up, we’ll be eating a lot of steak and grilled fish, spinach and broccoli this week.

Carrots… considered healthy except…

when they’re used at work.  I know, sounds a bit confusing.  I’m referring to the carrot that managers will often dangle in front of you face to let you know something great is coming up.


“We’ve got something exciting lined up for you.  You’re headed towards some great opportunities.  You’re almost at the next level.  Just keep doing what you’re doing”

Yup, I’ve heard it numerous times in my 13 year career as an I.T professional.  Although I must admit that I’ve been lucky to have supportive managers who are fully aware of my goals to move into management or at the very least a senior position.  Although I’ve seen the carrot dangling, 80% of the time I do see results. 

While out for lunch on Friday, my manager asked me if I had met with my career leader.  I informed her that I did and she reassured me that they were working hard to get the paperwork done for my upcoming promotion.  She mentioned that her goal was to see my promotion happen in Q2, which would mean before July, but she also mentioned that sometimes the paperwork just seems to take forever to get signed.  I’m quite excited about the promotion, because my career leader has been dangling that carrot in front of me for the past year or so.

So right now, it’s a huge carrot… and I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it!

It’s a good sign…

It must be a good sign that I’ve been sticking to my healthy eating plan, when coworkers immediately notice that I’m having a chunk of freshly baked sourdough bread w/ whipped butter.

The Keg - Table Bread: 1/4 roll = 174 calories, 36g carbs, 5g protein

It’s true, we went to The Keg for a coworkers farewell lunch and I had a 1/4 roll + bit of  the freshly baked sourdough bread at The Keg lightly coated with whipped butter.  Based on this link:  The Keg Nutrition there are 174 calories in each 1/4 roll.  For me, I had 1/4 roll + bit so I’m looking at approx 250 calories, 54 g carbs and 7.5 g protein.  Woah! actually typing out those numbers really surprised me.  54 g carbs? really?  1/4 roll has 36g, so 1/4 roll + bit must have around 50g.  EEK!

Tonight’s dinner will definitely be lighter on carbs.   So I’ve only mentioned the table bread and nothing about the actual lunch that I had.  I ordered the open hot beef sandwich w/ gravy and a side of sweet potato fries.  I must have eaten a total of 5 sweet potato fries (with a small amount of dip), a corner piece of bread that came with the sandwich and all the shaved beef that came on top (with the gravy).  It was definitely fattier cuts of beef than I’m used to and definitely more gravy than I’ve had in the past year combined!  All this means is I will need to work out harder and keep a closer eye on what I have for meals throughout the weekend.

H.I.I.T vs Steady State Cardio

Last night I went back to the beginning of the Insanity workout program and completed the Plyometric Cardio Circut, a 40 minute cardio workout (including warmup and stretching).  It felt really good to do the workout, however when I tried to follow the cardio session with lifting weights, I found that I was too drained to try and lift heavier weights.  So I started thinking about HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts vs steady state cardio and which would be more beneficial if my current goal is to gain lean muscle and get stronger.  I came across this article:

Why HIIT Is NOT Better For Fat Loss

For me personally, I found it difficult to balance HIIT workouts and lifting weights.  If I wanted to go heavier for my leg workout (squats, lunges, etc..) I struggled to give 100% to my HIIT workouts, which are very leg strength focused (lots of squats, jumping, etc)  If I lifted heavier for my shoulder exercises, I struggled with HIIT exercises where I am in plank position and my shoulders are burning to support the position.  So the first couple months where I was doing the Insanity workouts, I did take it easy on lifting weights and often found myself lifting lighter during leg exercises or skipping leg exercises altogether.

Now that I’m focused on gaining lean muscle and getting stronger and following my HIIT workout last night, it’s going to be important for me to switch over to steady state cardio workouts.

I also realized that I’m not feeding my body enough protein to support the gaining of lean muscle, so I’m going to add more emphasis to eating more protein in my meals and possibly adding a protein shake to my daytime meals/snacks.

DH has also decided to complete in the 2012 CBBF/IFBB World Championships Qualifiers which is taking place on April 28th, 2012.  That’s right, 8 days away and he just registered for the event last night.  DH maintains his physique throughout the year and he doesn’t have an “off-season”, so this allows him to have a shorter prep period leading up to competition.  I personally feel that it’s still not enough time, especially to ensure he dries out and fills out, but DH seems to know his body and what his body is capable of, so I am there to support him any way I can.

Mid-week – wish the sun was shining…

All this gloomy weather is definitely making it hard to feel energized and feel motivated at work.  I woke up to my cell phone alarm going off at 5:05am.  Decided to just close my eyes “for just 5 more minutes”, and when DH finally woke me up it was 5:40am!  EEK!  I quickly jumped out of bed and into the shower.  Good thing I was already set on not putting much effort into my hair, it helped feel a little less rushed.

First “UGH” moment for today?  Squeezing a small amount of styling cream that I just purchased into my hand, rubbing the cream in my palms and realizing “eww.. this styling cream doesn’t smell very good”  Seriously.. WTF?! hair products are usually known for their amazing scents, but this one?  Far from amazing.  But I needed some type of product in my hair, so I continued to work the product through my towel-dried hair.  It definitely doesn’t stink, but it’s not very pleasant either and I just hope I don’t get stuck in a full elevator and someone is standing behind me inhaling the not so pleasant hair product smell.

Second “UGH” moment for today?  As usual, DH drops me off in front of the office building and I grab my lunch bag, purse and then also grab a couple free newspapers from the nearby newspaper dispenser, one for DH and one for myself.  I hand him his paper through his rolled down window and say goodbye, turn around and walk towards the building doors.  As I hear DH drive away, my hands full I realized “Darn it.. I forgot my coffee in the car!”  Worse part, this happened yesterday too!  So right at 7am when the cafeteria opens, I’m down there grabbing a coffee.  I hate buying cafeteria coffee, esp when it’s due to my forgetfulness.

One of the core team members that I work with is leaving the company so this week it seems that the plan is to go out for lunch to places that he’s never been to and yet we always speaking highly of and are some of our favorite places to eat.  Because he’s actually moving to another city, it would be great if he could experience these restaurants before he left.  Today, I believe the guys are taking him to VJ Burgers, a little burger joint and really it’s just a walk through drive through type of restaurant.  No tables and chairs, just a couple of picnic tables outside.  Will I indulge in a greasy burger and fries?  It’s very tempting to.  I packed my meals for the work day:  cottage cheese w/ pineapple, grapefruit, spinach salad w/ strawberries and some kung pao shrimp.  That actually sounds much more enjoyable that a burger but I’m the type of person who usually goes along with the crowd, and may end up having a burger.  Again that’s just a thought in my head right now, the chances of the burger becoming a reality?  Hard to tell, we’ll see what happens at lunch time.


Kung Pao Shrimp recipe from “The Crepes of Wrath


Total Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound peeled and de-veined shrimp, washed thoroughly
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 large shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce (this can be found in the Asian section in any grocery store)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts (optional)
rice, for serving

1. Begin to cook your rice while you cook the shrimp. Combine the de-veined, peeled, and cleaned shrimp and cornstarch in a small bowl. Toss to coat.

2. Heat the sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the minced shallot. Cook for a few minutes, until turning translucent, then add in the garlic and stir quickly.

3. Combine the chili sauce, ground ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk well and add the sauce to the skillet, cooking for 2-3 minutes, until beginning to thicken.

4. Reduce the heat to medium. Add in the shrimp to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the shrimp are a bright pink/orange color and are cooked through. Stir in the dry roasted peanuts and serve over rice.


20 super delicious little bites of golden goodness…

That’s 20 extra baked til super crispy tater tots.

I had a craving for a crunchy, salty snack so I gave into the weakness yesterday and had tater tots for dinner.  I find that I’m allowing myself a bit more flexibility in my cheats, most likely because I feel that I can burn the extra calories during a workout.

Tonight I will try and do a cardio workout and see how my knees feel afterwards.  I am heading off to a soccer coaches clinic, so I’m hoping I’ll burn a few calories there.

I finally remembered to post a more recent progress picture.  The picture below was taken at the end of February.  I suspect since I haven’t been as diligent with my workouts, my next progress picture update will be at the end of May.

2-month progress pictures

(L-R: starting point, after month 1, after month 2)

The numbers and the goals.. and some meal planning too

So last week, I went to get my body composition done.  Here are the numbers:

As of April 10, 2012

Weight: 112lbs

Body Fat %: 18.6%

Waist: 77.5cm

Skinfold measurements

  • Triceps: 9.6mms
  • Biceps: 3.15mms
  • Subscapular: 10.2mms
  • Iliac Crest: 9.9mms
  • Medial Calf: 6.0mms

I’m not really sure what to do with the skinfold numbers.  I do want to bring the bigger measurements down, but by how much?  Don’t really know.  Based on a table from http://life.familyeducation.com/weight/health/35880.html, optimal body fat percentage in my age group (30-39) is 21-29%.  With my body fat percentage of 18.6%, I fall into the Low category.  Does this mean that I should even try to lower my body fat percentage?  I personally feel that I could lose more fat (especially around my mid-section) and the lower percentage of the Low category is 17%, so for now I’m thinking of setting my body fat % goal to 17%.

Weight-wise, I’d like to lose a few pounds of fat, but would like to gain a few pounds of muscle.  So ideally I wouldn’t want to see myself below 110lbs.

Meal-planning for the week:

Monday: Pan-fried Basa fish fillets (w/ cajun seasoning) and oven roasted asparagus

Tuesday:  Kung-pao shrimp and oven roasted broccoli

Wednesday:  BBQ skinless chicken thighs and egg white omlette

Thursday:  Black bean mussels and egg white omlette

Friday:  going out for lunch (coworkers going away luncheon)

I suspect I’ll have to pick up some ingredients to cook a few more meals for dinner time, or we’ll be eating alot of egg white and spinach omlettes.. hehe.. which is okay with me.  I do have some chicken meatballs that I could cook up with some whole wheat pasta, that’s definitely an option.  Thursday is my mom’s bday so I suspect we’ll be either ordering in food or eating out, so I will have to make sure I save Thursday evening as my cheat meal.

Cardio wise, I’m still not back to any regular cardio workouts and a part of me is hoping that once the weather warms up again, I’ll be outside walking or even running.

It’s that time of the month, and I’m feeling bloated and gross.  I had set a goal to workout in the mornings even to do some light cardio, perhaps 30-45 minutes, but I haven’t been successful at getting my butt to the gym.  No other excuse other than pure laziness.  If I can make it to the gym in the morning at least once this week, I will consider that a success.

Since I’m not doing as much cardio as I’d like, I’m trying to keep a close watch on my calorie intake.  Of course I say that, while thinking about have sushi for lunch.  Not a good start.  But so far sushi is a thought, not a reality.