1. How do you manage a social life when your diet and exercise regime starts to take over?
This one is tricky. I have two answers. First, I don’t let my diet and exercise regime take over. When I was training for my bikini competition, my training really did take the front seat and everything else got left behind. I went on only a few dates my whole prep and they were dramatically hard to get through because of my ridiculously embarrassing meal orders. I missed out on boat rides, parties, trips, and just small things like birthday gatherings, all because I didn’t want to miss a meal or skip a workout. It was mentally stressful more than anything. My true friends were gems through this time. I lost a few, but honestly, I’m glad for the friends that ditched me. They were never real friends. But if I did learn something, it’s that I would rather have a muscular, physically fit body and a life than to look 100 percent perfect and have no life. I remember crying in my room after my competition one night because I was so overwhelmed by all the mental stress and rigidness I let get in the way of my life. I never want to let fitness control me. I control it. That’s it. My other answer is, if you really do let fitness and your diet take over, schedule time with friends at least once a week where you can indulge stress free. Don’t miss out on their birthday party because you have an early morning workout. This gym will still be there the next day. At the end of your life you will not feel very satisfied if you spent all of your days obsessing over diet and exercise. Life is for living.
2. What sugar/flour/milk should I buy?
I buy Stevia because it’s a natural sweetener and I love the taste, it also bakes really well. Unsweetened almond milk is my favourite milk substitute and for flour I suggest coconut, almond or oat flour.
3. How do you feel about IF?
I don’t have much to say on this topic, simply because I’m always hungry and fasting is not easy for me at all. After I went to the PaleoFX convention, I met a lot of people that believe in it and do it weekly. I have done some reading about not eating 12 hours before your previous meal the night before, and it does make sense. Breakfast is not the MOST important meal of the day. Food in general is important, but there isn’t a magic time to eat. IF is something you should try out for yourself and see how your body reacts to it.
4. What isolated exercises do you do?
A lot. Especially when I’m working on muscle definition. Lately, I’m focusing on building mass, so I do more compound exercises but the isolated movements I still incorporate are: dumbell curls, EZ bar curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, shoulder presses, etc. Most of my workouts are composed of squats, bench press (all types), leg press, military press, rows, clean and presses, more squats and close grip benches.
5. Favourite type of cardio?
Stepmill and HIIT. I love the stepmill because it tightens my glutes big time but I love HIIT (sprints) because it burns fat quicker than any other type of cardio and it goes by pretty fast. I usually only do 30 minutes of stepmill and 20 minutes of HIIT.
6. How do you get rid of excess post-baby belly fat?
Honestly, I say your best bet here would be a combination of HIIT and diet. Increase the healthy fat intake, decrease the carb intake, eat your body weight in protein and do several HIIT sessions per week. It’ll take some time to burn off all the excess skin but consistently sticking with proper nutrition and sprints/cardio you will get here.
7. How do you feel about counting calories?
YUCK. I am guilty of being a chronic counter. But no longer. I have been listening to what my body wants and I have been doing this long enough to know what size portions I need to reach my goals. If I have more carbs one day, I know to go easy on the fat. If I have more fat one day, I know to go easy on the carbs. Counting calories is really beneficial when you have a photo shoot or competition coming up, but otherwise, just eat clean foods and watch your portions. Don’t eat till your stomach hurts and don’t eat one carrot and decide you’re full. Cause I know you’re not. I eat and I eat a lot. But everything I eat is clean, whole foods so it’s all great for my health and well being
8. Any tips for tightening up for summer?
HIIT and nutrition. I can’t say it enough. I know this stinks but it also helps to limit the fruit. Fruit is sugar, so even though it has plenty of healthy vitamins, it will be consumed as sugar and will not necessarily help you your weight loss goals. Getting rid of grains and dairy will also decrease your bloat tremendously. Drink plenty of water to help flush out any excess toxins and move nutrients through your system quickly:)
YAY! I think I may start doing more Q&A sessions. Email, tweet, or FB me if you have something you’d like me to discuss in another Q&A post.
On another note, my back/bicep workout yesterday was really intense so I decided to share it. Give it a go and let me know what you think!
EZ bar curls (pyramid set- 20, 15, 12, 9, 6, 1) started at 40 lbs, ended at 65
Overhand parallel row 3*8
Alternating hammer curls 3*12 (Last set drop set)
Pull ups 4*10
Smith machine shoulder press 4*8
Reverse curls 3*8
Lat pull down 3*8