As many of you know I have a disorder called, Premature Ovarian Failure (A.K.A Premature Ovarian Insufficiency) which means I have a 0-5% chance of conceiving naturally – and it decreases with age.

As much as I have grieved and been able to move past my diagnosis in many ways, it is something that is always in the back of my mind. I want nothing more than to be a mother, and it would be a dream come true if I could conceive my children naturally someday.

The Conflict
When I began my journey into health & fitness, I began it for a few reasons:
1.       To lose 50lbs+ of unwanted fat & feel better than ever.
2.       To challenge myself in ways I had never done before – competing in Figure.
3.       To help me regain control over my life after a stream of adversities.
4.       To strengthen my back, neck, shoulders, knee etc. after my accident in 2007. And,
5.       To put my body in the healthiest hormonal and fertile state possible so that I have a
           better chance of being one of the few women who to conceive naturally.

The truth is, two of my biggest life goals right now – to compete in figure and to obtain optimal hormonal and fertility health – are quite conflicting. As I’ve learned more and more about bodybuilding in the traditional way, I’ve learned that it is in no way a healthy sport.

Typically bodybuilders experience drastic hormonal fluctuations, significant wear and tear on their bodies, declines in their immunity and often rely on chemical or artificial supplements to get them through the day. Not to mention, when it comes close to competition, some are severely dehydrated and outrageously lean (not in a good way).

To put it simply, bodybuilders basically tend to experience everything you DON’T want if you’re trying to obtain optimal hormonal health or conceive.

So a few months ago I came to a fork in my journey. I had an epiphany and suddenly felt I was faced with two decisions:
1.       Keep training for figure, OR
2.       Stop training for figure and start focusing on my fertility and hormone health.

This thought weighed heavily on me.

On one hand, I have worked so hard to get to where I am in order to compete – and I am trying to build myself a name in this industry around it. And on the other hand, I would give ANYTHING to conceive naturally – so why not make that my ultimate goal?

After much thought and deliberation, a few conversations with the people I love and a handful of sleepless nights, I’ve decided what I want to do. And so, since I am a planner by nature, I’ve mapped out my newest goals and my latest approach and I’d like to share it with everyone.

The Shift

What my family reminded me when I was having this discussion with them, is that it is often women who focus too much on their infertility issues that do not conceive naturally – and they are right.

Women who tend to stress or put an extreme amount of pressure on themselves (when it comes to getting pregnant) are often counterproductive in their attempts. This is because stress can literally ruin your body from the inside out and prevent it from functioning properly.

So rather than putting their bodies in a healthy state so that it can heal itself, they are creating an almost toxic environment within – both mentally and physically.

With that being said, I’ve decided to combine options 1 and 2 above and create a new option:
3.       Keep focusing on competing in Figure, but do it in the healthiest way possible.

It’s going to be harder, more expensive and probably timelier, but it will help me take steps closer towards both of my goals. Why should I have to choose one or the other?

What This Means

When is comes to training and dieting, this means that I will be changing my food choices, switching to natural supplements and being considerate of what I am putting in my mouth and how I am moving my body. So basically, whatever I do or consume must support both of my goals.

· I will be switching my bodybuilding supplements over to natural products and avoiding heavily processed, chemical brands:

          New Protein: BioX’s All Natural Power Whey (with added digestive enzymes)

          New Pre-Workout: Green Tea and/or Green Tea Extract

          Intra-Workout: Will remain XTEND for now (may research others)

· I will be strategically supplementing vitamins and minerals:

         Progressive’s Vege Greens – For antioxidants, phytonutrients, EFA’s and other
         health boosting ingredients.

          Maca – For fertility support.

          Calcium & Vit. D – To maintain strong bones as I am at high risk for Osteoporosis
          and consume a lot of protein regularly.

          ON’s Opti-Women Multivitamin – For overall support.

          Co-Q10 – For heart support, since I’ve faced past issues.

          Omega 3’s – For brain and cardiovascular support and to ensure I am getting my
          omega 3’s in my day as my diet may not supply them.

          B12 – For metabolic and central nervous system support (I’ve been deficient in the
          past).

          Glucosamine & Chondrotin – for bone, cartilage and joint support (needed due to
          my accident in 2007)

          Vitamin C – For antioxidant and immunity support

· I will be maintaining the monitoring of my macronutrients and calories. For now I will be aiming for 50%protein, 25% carbs and 25% fats to help reach my figure goals. This may change overtime to continue reducing my body fat% further, in order to compete.

· I will no longer be consuming artificial sweeteners. Stevia will be my replacement.

· I will limit myself to one coffee a day, and if I need another ‘kick’ I will turn to green tea.

· A larger portion of my carbohydrates will come from high antioxidant fruits and a broad array of veggies/super foods.

          Such as: Blueberries, cranberries, spinach, pumpkin, celery, radishes, Quinoa,
          apples, cabbage, carrots, peppers, cucumber etc. 

· I will add in a regular yoga and/or meditation session every week for flexibility, healing and emotional/mental support.

· I will continue to omit alcohol from my diet but will allow myself red wine only on special occasions.

I understand that some people will disagree with my approach, not identify with my thinking and/or find my goals to be counterproductive. But if there is one thing I’ve learned through my 2 year fitness endeavor thus far, it’s that you have to do it for you!

No two bodies are exactly alike, and no two people have experienced the same emotional, spiritual and physically journeys in their lifetime. This plan is created with my body and goals in mind, and I highly encourage other people to customize their own plans.

I believe bodybuilding can be a healthy sport if you work hard enough at it, and are willing to put in the time and money – and I am.

So stay tuned!

 
In 9 hours I will be on my way to the airport to enjoy the sun and sand in St. Lucia. But, of coarse, not without a little bit of planning! 

Aside from planning what to bring, and ensuring I have all of my gym accessories and clothes, there was one other important plan I had to do - my meal plan for the week I return. 

Think about it, when you go on vacation and you come home, what is one of the first things you do? Go grocery shopping! So, instead of relying on myself, when I'm in a lazy state, to try and quickly compile a plan, I decided to put it together ahead of time. This way, I'm ready and prepared for when I come home!

Now, if you are wondering why I am still putting together meal plans while I'm building (a.k.a. bulking), it's because I want to ensure that I am:

       a) not over-indulging in junk food and turning this build into a 'dirty bulk' - I want to keep it    
       clean so that I make lean gains as opposed to fat gains. 
       b) strategically placing my carbs and fats throughout the day so that I minimize the risk of 
       these extra calories being stored in my body as opposed to utilized for muscle 
       recovery/building. 

So, in order to do these things above, I continue to design meal plans! Plus it just makes shopping and packing my meals a heck of a lot easier - I don't have to think later :). 

One of the other reasons why this next plan is so important is because when I return I will officially be entering into the building phase. Currently, I've been working on slowly increasing my numbers, but it won't be until I am back from vacay that I will officially be above my maintenance caloric intake and putting on muscle - so this plan deserved a lot of focus and attention.

Well, anyways, I thought I would let you guys know what I'm up to. If you want to see my meal plan for when I am back from my vacation, check it out below! I tried to incorporate foods that are rich in anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as carbs that are less likely to contain lots of gluten (with the exception of oats pre-wrkout) as I think I am having a reaction to it (I'm testing this theory). So rather than rice, pastas, WW breads etc., I will primarily be eating fruits, veggies and sweet potato for m

Thanks for checking in!! And if you want more frequent updates, please 'like' my facebook page: www.facebook.com/kristen.v.adamson  

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I've got a couple of great things to share with everyone. Since the posting of my transformation of the week on bodybuilding.com some pretty great things have happened. 
  • My transformation and story had been featured on about-muscle.com
  • I completed an interview for muscledog.com, which will be featured in the near future.
  • I will also be featured on Muscle & Strength, I'm in the process of completing the interview now. 
  • Come this April/May I will officially be a contributing writer for bodybuilding.com - I am hoping to submit articles monthly. 
  • I have another photo shoot booked for this Saturday! Stay tuned for some awesome photos. 
  • I purchased a web domain - www.kristenadamson.com - for my professional website and have been working hard at building it. 

I'm feeling really good about where I am at right now. I feel like I am taking the right steps towards achieving my dreams and I am very excited to share all of this with you guys. 

Thank you to all of you for your continued support! Keep in touch!

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As many of you know I have been working on “cutting” since January 2010 – exactly a year ago this month. It’s been a long journey full of lots of wonderful wins and some not so wonderful plateaus, but I have been able to maintain motivation the whole way through and I am proud of myself for it.

When I first started my journey, I thought it was all about the weight. I just wanted to drop 30lbs of fat and be done – but I was so very wrong.

As I know I’ve mentioned before, this journey became more about self discovery and gaining control over my life, than it did about becoming a slimmer, smaller me,. This is exactly why my goals and aspirations have changed over time, and now I am approaching the next stage of my adventure – phase 2. 

About halfway through my journey I became intrigued by the notion of competing in figure. Why? Well 1 year ago, even the thought of me stepping on a stage in a two piece and being judged was my worst nightmare – but this is exactly why it became my best goal.

I realized that if I wanted to continue to reap the self discovery benefits of this journey, I needed to keep pushing myself beyond my mental limits. I needed a goal that would take me out of my comfort zone and teach me that I can face my biggest fears and I can be whatever I want to be. So my answer became training for figure.

So what is phase 2, you ask? Phase 2 of my journey is a whole lot of things, it’s:
- Focusing on lean muscle building and re-shaping my body, rather than dropping fat.
- Taking my strength and weight training abilities to another level.
- Preparing myself for my first figure competition.
- Pushing past the naysayers and doing something just for me. And,
- Taking a giant leap forward towards conquering one of my greatest fears by facing it dead on.

So over the next couple of months – starting around March of this year – you will notice that the focus of my content will begin to shift. Rather than listening to me speak about how the numbers on the scale are going down, I will be discussing how to make them go up (in a good way).  

My goals will be to build lean muscle while maintaining the lowest possible body fat %, and to balance out my physique in preparation for my first competition.

Stay tuned my friends! Stay tuned.

 
The other day I got a personal message on my bodyspace from Bodybuilding.com’s web content developer. He told me that I had been nominated as a transformation of the week and that they would like for me to send them the information required to feature me on their website. 

I was shocked. 

I mean, I had planned to eventually send in a submission, but I had never imagined that I would be nominated! What an honor. 

So, yesterday I sent in my final version and he let me know that they would be posting my article in 1-2 months time. 

I am excited beyond belief; this marks the beginning of me getting my story out into the world - the beginning of me inspiring others.

Anyways, stay tuned everyone! I will be posting the link as soon as I hear it has been posted. 

Thanks again for all of your support!

And as a quick update, I currently weigh in at 138lbs and about 23% BF. I am still working to get my BF% down by March 2011 and then I will begin my build. 

Looking forward to another new year, and reaching a whole slew of new goals!
 
As some of you may know – from reading my “about me” section – I’ve faced a few obstacles in my time. Granted, “my time” has only been 21 years, but most people go their entire lifespan without experiencing what I have.

Today I want to take a moment to switch gears. You see, weight loss journey’s aren’t just about shedding fat and watching the numbers on the scale drop.  In my opinion, a real, permanent, weight loss journey is about shedding adversity at the same time. Lightening yourself, not only physically, but mentally too.

When I started my journey 9 months ago, I was in a shaded place – I use shaded to describe my mentality because I was on my way into darkness, but some light still shined through.  I was beginning to become the type of person I never wanted to be – a person who took pity on themselves and stewed in their own sadness.

Life seemed to be beating me at my own game, all I could think about was how misfortunate I had been with my recent diagnosis, and how much pain I was in from my previous accident. But, with a deceptive smile on my face, I always managed to fly through each day – under the radar.

Quickly, my talent became avoidance. I blocked out my feelings, grew a strong outer shell and buried my feelings and pain. To those around me, I appeared “strong” and “recovered” but it was nothing more than a coping tactic – I now know.

Then one day something inside me changed. I really don’t know what it was, but I will describe it as a spark. It was like a tiny little flame that was waiting to be fed with logs of empowerment – I just needed to figure out how to feed it.

With that little glimmer of hope flickering inside me, I began to do some soul searching – why do these things happen to me? Why not to someone else? And although I had been told countless times from others, “Because you are strong enough to conquer it”, I had never truly believed it until I felt that spark.

After discovering this for myself, there was no stopping me. I was going to find a way to show the world that what doesn’t kill you does, in fact, make you stronger. Adversity not only causes you to reflect on your life, but it also teaches you the importance of moving forward and reaching for your goals and dreams – but what were mine?

I knew I wanted to be a mother one day, own my own business in the future and make a difference in the world. But exactly how I was going to achieve these things, I wasn’t sure yet – until I came across bodybuilding.com.

I had previously been a member of bodybuilding.com, but I wasn’t in the right state of mind for it to resonate with me. But after having recently discovered my internal fire, the transformation articles and stories on bodybuilding.com began to impact me tremendously.

These people not only had the body I had always desired, but they were truly strong. Not just on the outside, but on the inside too. They knew how to take control of their lives and bodies, and they demonstrated perseverance, determination and triumph – exactly what I wanted to show the world that adversity could foster if you let it.

With that, bodybuilding became my logs of empowerment. It became my new focus, and my way to prove that even while facing shade or darkness, one can take control over their life and find the light.

To this day, my journey continues to take a load of my shoulders. Although I continue to face the physical pain from my accident, and I am scarred with the emotional ache of my inability to conceive a child, I feel lighter everyday.

When I hit the gym, or pack my pre-portioned meals, I am reassured that I have control over who I want to be. And I am reminded that as long as I keep fueling my fire with empowerment, I will continue to shed little pieces of my adversity, while I gain achievement of my goals.
 
For more information on my diagnosis, Premature Ovarian Failure, please visit www.pofsupport.org.

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As you may have noticed, on the home page I have a list of several goals I am trying to achieve throughout this journey.

Goal #1 is to drop to 150lbs.

Today, I stand at about 152lbs (possibly 151, I have to check) and I feel incredible! For many years, I would dream of being 150lbs - but in my head, I didn't really think I could.

It wasn't until I started believing it and envisioning it, that it began to come to life.

So, what's next? Goal #2 - drop to 18%BF.

According to my scale - which isn't the most accurate way of measuring, but it has been a consistent tool for me - I am currently 29%BF. That means I have about 11% to lose.

I am looking forward to achieving this one because that is when my hard work will really start to show. My muscles will reveal themselves from hiding, and my body will begin to look more athletic - how exciting

So, stay tuned! If you have any questions, just drop me a line.
 
So there I was, fighting through my last repetitions. The sweat was streaming down my face and my arms were trembling – I was determined to hoist those dumbbells over my chest one last time.  

I finally completed the set. I sat up on the bench to grab a gulp of water, and that’s when I saw it – you’ve got to be kidding me, I thought to myself. 

Through the reflection of the mirror in front of me, I noticed a women speed walking on the treadmill with a cell phone glued to her ear. I couldn’t help but chuckle inside. 

Is this what we have succumbed to? Are we that unbelievably busy that we can’t solely focus on our wellbeing for a mere 30-45 minutes a day? 

Its things like this that, in my mind, separates the victorious from the sorrowful, the triumphant from the disappointed, and the winners from the losers in the end.

Not to say that this woman was, by any means, a ‘loser’ – but her lack of focus is not what I would expect from someone seriously looking to get into ‘shape’. 

In my opinion, if you are committed to your weight loss (or bodybuilding) journey, you must be devoted. And by that I mean, you must be willing to dedicate quality time in the gym. 

The key word in that sentence is quality

To get results, you must make every second count. Each and every time you lift that weight, do it with purpose, each and every time you pound your feet on that treadmill, visualize your goals.

If the only reason why you are going to the gym is to socialize, you may be better off hitting up the local pub, because serious gym-goers are there for one purpose and one purpose only…to focus on getting the results they’ve always dreamed of having. 

Yes, I know…in a way, this article is a rant. But in another way, it is some food for thought. That’s why I decided to call it my nutritional rant. 

Why do you go to the gym?
 
Sometimes, in order to stay focused I like to do crunches! Nope, I’m not talking about abdominal crunches…I’m talking about number crunches! Here is what I mean:

Today, just for fun, I decided to figure out how many days I’ve been ‘melting’ for. Can you believe that on Saturday May 15th, I will have been training and eating clean for 121 days?  

Let’s put that into perspective, that’s:
·          4 months
·          17.2 weeks
·          2904 hours
·          174,270 minutes

And in that time frame, I have managed to lose 20lbs (hopefully more by Saturday – but I’ll let you know)!

That’s equivalent to:
·          5lbs/month
·          1.2lbs/week
·          0.0068lbs/hour
·          0.00011lbs/minute 

So, in theory, if I keep losing at this rate I will have lost another 20lbs by September 12th!!! Wow, 8 months and a 40 lb loss…that would be incredible! Who knew I would find a use for math! (That I’m actually finding quite fun!) 

Now, let’s say I managed to bump that 1.2lb/week loss to 2lb/week (still a healthy rate to lose). That means, by September 12th, I will have lost 34lbs! Wow. That would make me 131lbs (a 54lb loss in total). J

It’s so fun to look ahead at these kinds of things. It helps keep me focused and it helps me set new goals for myself – like aiming for a 2lb loss per week! If I can do that, it will only take me 10 weeks to drop 20lbs, which means I will weight 145lbs by July 24th. Sweet.

So, why am I doing this? 

Well first of all, it’s kind of like giving yourself a HUGE pat on the back. Seeing how far you’ve come, and comparing it to different timeframes, really does change your outlook on the whole process.  

Second of all – like I said above, it helps me set realistic goals that I know I can achieve. And that’s important when you are on a long journey to health, happiness and, oh yeah – sexy abs! 

Give it a try!