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Showing posts from 2016

Are You Uninspired?

There's a popular mindset that if we are going to be successful, we have to suffer in some way or say "yes" to every task presented, until we're completely overworked, uninspired, and exhausted. It's as if the majority belief is that if you haven't suffered, you don't deserve success. 
Do you know that isn't true?
You are allowed to believe in yourself, follow your dreams, and enjoy what you do. The most important thing is believing you are capable of achieving your dream. 
Being in a job you don't like, but that "pays the bills" is widely accepted- it doesn't challenge the status quo, and to credit all of us who are, or have been there, it takes self discipline and maturity to continue work you don't enjoy so that you can support yourself and/or your family. 
What many are afraid to believe or accept, is that you don't have to say "yes" to everything that presents itself as a safe way to make money or go farther in you…

Self- Fulfilling Prophecies

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: positive or negative expectations about a situation, event, or person, in which your expectations may affect you or someone else's behavior in a way that causes the expectations to occur.

Example: expecting a person to be unkind based on how they look, you may (consciously or unconsciously) treat them in a way that causes them to act unkind.
Example: a person begins college, all the while telling themselves they aren't "smart enough/ good enough/ meant to" finish college. They may be more likely to drop out of college than those who believe in themselves.  
Sometimes the things we tell ourselves can be so powerful that we really think they're a non negotiable truth. Our thoughts are so powerful that way. We believe there's no way around things so we don't even try.... We believe we aren't capable of
something so we don't even try to  challenge it, or we challenge it / try, all the while telling ourselves we can't, and th…

5 Ways to Get to Your Early Morning Workout

Sometimes, the hardest part of getting your workout in is just getting started or getting to the gym! Here are 5 tips that may make it easier to get going. 
1. Sleep in Your Gym Clothes. When we're tired, the more steps it takes to do something, the less we may want to do it. If you wake up already dressed for the gym, that's one less thing you have to do before heading out the door. 
2. Set your Coffee Pot On a Timer. When it comes to early mornings, it's not that we hate the morning itself, it's the being tired that we despise! If you drink coffee, have your coffee pot timed to start a few minutes before you wake up. If you  have another favorite caffeinated drink, prep it the night before or set a cup/bottle of it next to your bed. 
3.  Make an Appointment to Meet Someone There. This should be someone you wouldn't want to disappoint (best friend, trainer, etc). Even if we aren't in the mood to show up for ourselves, we can be much more likely to show up if it ma…

What Do you See When you Look in the Mirror?

This morning I looked in the rearview mirror as I was driving to work, and for a moment, I saw the timid little girl I used to be, with ears that she hadn't grown into yet and droopy bedroom eyes. 
I saw myself through the eyes of that little girl, always feeling like somehow there was something wrong with me or that I wasn't like everyone else. It was a story I told myself for a long time, that with my crooked teeth and shyness, I must not have been meant to be "normal," and would just have to keep pretending to act like everyone else. 
I remember staring at myself when I was a child, wishing I had eyes like Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin movie, and trying to figure out how to wear my hair to hide my ears. Thinking, if those things could just be different, if my teeth could be straighter, if the popular boy in class could just like me, then I would have everything figured out. 
I can still see my old childhood self studying how other people acted, interacted, and re…

Are Old Habits Sabotaging You?

When we reach our goals, why do we revert back to trying to do things "our own way" ... the way that never worked before... the way that drove us crazy and led us to seek out a new way in the first place? 
There is a self sabotaging side to humans that yearns to fall back into habits or comfort, even if our intellectual self hates that old self. 
Goals are a great thing to have, but there's always that risk of seeing them as an "end point." When that happens, we can want to treat the entire journey as having a beginning and an end, instead of letting go of one lifestyle and starting a new one.

Ask yourself why, and be brutally honest. 
What are you trying to avoid (consciously or subconsciously) that has led to that desire to want to fall back into old unhelpful habits? 
What isn't working right now?
What's causing you to feel like you're white-knuckling through the day and needing to "zone out" or disassociate? You have to find out what it is an…

Find Your Happy

What makes you happy? What makes you smile uncontrollably, gives you goosebumps, or makes you feel truly alive? For me, it is being able to share how much one can thrive with a plant based lifestyle. Causing less harm to other living things, caring for myself mentally and physically, and creating a safe, welcoming social media space to share, makes me excited to wake up every day!
It's not about looking good. Of course being able to see physical results of exercise and healthy eating is a plus, but it's really about the mental energy, alertness, and joy. It's about showing yourself just how powerful you are- not physically but mentally. Reaching goals or following your truth is always more about a mental game than a physical one. It's great to have a physique and asthetics that you're proud of, but the real prize is what's happening inside.
What would make waking more exciting than sleeping for you?

~The Wonder Vegan 

Is Your Story Holding You Back?

Everyone has a story. The summary of information that you feel explains who you are. 
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that sometimes we cling to these stories a little too hard and a little too long. How long have you been telling people the same story of yourself? Is it a story you're proud of, or one that you hide behind? 
The story we tell others about who we are is the same story we tell ourselves. Here's where that can either help us continue moving forward, or keep us sinking in quicksand...
We are always going to live up to our expectation (story) of who we are!!!
If you keep trying to reach goals in external ways without changing your "story," the end result will always be the same.  In other words, if a person wants to become a professional soccer player, but keeps viewing himself as just "ok" at soccer, not good at sticking with things, and thinks he looks funny when he runs, then he'll probably NEVER be a professional soccer player! 
You …

Affirmation Friday: Healthy Detachment

noun | de•tach•ment  : indifference to worldly concerns : freedom from bias or prejudice
As soon as we look in the mirror, we subconsciously evaluate ourselves, and that chatter isn't usually very nice. 
"I hate my wrinkles."  "I look tired."  "This outfit looks bad on me." 
How often do we truly just observe ourselves without any negative bias? Why must we judge ourselves, put ourselves down, or otherwise be hard on ourselves? 
Being hard on ourselves has traditionally never worked to help us change what we're unhappy with, so we've got nothing to lose if we decide to experiment with just observing- without judgment- our physical or mental selves. I invite you not to judge yourself negatively for the next 24 hours! Print a picture of the affirmation and tape it on your mirror if necessary!  ~The Wonder Vegan 

Are You Practicing for What You Want?

Mindset. Practice. 
Spoiler alert- sometimes a not-so-great mindset gets the best of me. 
But in case you haven't noticed, working towards changing that is referred to as a mindset practice
They call it a practice for a reason! 
...because it isn't always easy and doesn't always come natural.  ...because we've trained our brains to think "realistic" to avoid too much risk or change.  ...because we have been in a state of thinking negatively for so long. 
If you are interested in creating a more positive mindset (and are willing to put practice in!) here are some Do's and Don'ts:
DO:  Start with patience and tolerance for yourself.
Create small, achievable goals that will add up to change. 
Start a journal or reach out for support from like-minded people. 
DON'T:  Expect positive mindset changes to come effortlessly. Your brain has been trained without that in place and needs time to unlearn unhelpful thinking patterns. 
Expect to never have a bad day ever aga…

Affirmation Friday- Are You Up For The Challenge?

What does this mean to you? 
We get caught up in so many other thoughts and thought patterns that we rarely take time to be in the now.
*We mentally psych ourselves out on Sunday nights that we will be miserable the next day because "it's Monday." 
*We try to motivate ourselves to eat healthy or exercise by obsessing over what we hate about our body instead of what we love. 
*We don't notice blessings in our life because we can't stop thinking about the  unfortunate things that happen to us.
Why aren't we sharing the love? Talking, thinking, sharing, or doing what we love? Are we too busy just trying to get through the day that we feel we can't focus mental energy to shift to a more positive outlook? 
Increasingly, there are more people talking about living in the now, but find it hard to put that into practice... Maybe that's just too vague of a goal to work towards. 
So let's just start with love. I challenge you to join me in participating in the 7 Day…

Happy World Vegan Day!

Spread the love and acceptance for all living beings, today and every day!  -The Wonder Vegan


One Week Post Competition

It's been a week since competition weekend. I've been enjoying some sweet treats, but I've been enjoying Fall-inspired proats even more!

A lot of people call this time of year "off season" from competing. While participating in multiple competitions this year didn't start off as my goal, I find myself daydreaming of doing another one in the next few months. I don't know if that will happen, but one thing I do know is, this girl needs to decide on another goal!
Even though I have kind of enjoyed not following a meal plan...I honestly miss it. I don't feel burned out or as though I need a break from anything related to how my prep was designed. I was lucky enough to have a coach who's plans can actually be slightly adjusted to fit into a realistic healthy lifestyle. If you're interested in competing and actually enjoying your prep, my coach Crissi Carvalho is the most amazing person for the job (www.veganfitnessmodel.com). She didn't just …

Affirmation Friday!

Be Your Best Self!

Five Ways to Prevent Unnecessary Weight Gain After a Bikini Competition

Deciding what to eat can feel difficult after competing. We are on a high from all the fun and adrenaline of being on stage and looking our best. We can trick ourselves into thinking that we can eat everything in sight and maintain our lean, muscular physique.

So how do we prevent unnecessary weight gain after a competition? 
1. Accept That You WILL Gain Some Weight After Competing. Looking stage ready all year round isn't realistic. Many competitors get attached to the image of how they look on stage, and think that if they don't look like that all the time, they might as well give up all together on maintaining their health and fitness. This all-or-nothing thinking can be our worst enemy. 
2. Make a Vision Board. Or, write down your post-competiton macro or food goals, as well as a 4 week workout/exercise routine to help you stay focused and realistic after a show. If we looked stage ready 365 days a year, what would our purpose for competing and prepping really be for? Use th…

Competition Day: 1st Place x2

If you follow @thewondervegan on Instagram, then you already know all about competition day! I didn't want to rush posting here and leave anything out.
The Battle at the Border NPC Competition would start at noon. But competitors start their day much earlier than that. Waking up at 6am to start getting ready for a comp is considered sleeping in, and it was much needed extra rest.
By the time this morning comes, you likely already have your first coat of spray tan applied and hair washed. So the morning begins with a flurry of finalizing your spray tan and glamming yourself up with hair and makeup. While competing is in fact about your physical fitness, make no mistake that the "glam" is very important! Don't skimp on making yourself stage-ready...those bright lights are unforgiving.
Once you've got your glam, its time to head to the venue and attend any athletes meetings that may be happening.
I arrived at the venue as soon as they opened the doors, around 11 …

Peak Week: An Inside View of NPC Bikini Competing- Day 5

One day out! 
Today is probably my favorite day of Peak Week! I'm feeling great, lean, and obnoxiously tan. 

The nails are done and glammed. 

I am officially registered and ready to rock and roll! (Go Number 4! Go Number 4!)

And the best part... Eating carbs and rice cakes and peanut butter! This helps our muscles pop while we steadily dry and lean out for stage presence. 
Peanut butter is my weakness. And it was fabulous. 
I really do love the day before competition day. It's typically a very task-heavy day, with having to make sure everything you need to bring is ready, traveling to get your tan, register for the show, etc. But it's also so enjoyable, because you're checking each task off the list and one step closer to celebrating all of your hard work by stepping on stage! I can't wait to share tomorrow's adventures with you all. 
Dreaming of the stage, -The Wonder Vegan

Peak Week: An Inside View of NPC Bikini Competing- Day 4

And Then There Was Glam.
It's all pretty ironic really. Many people state they aren't interested in doing bikini competitions because they appear sexualized. Glam is a huge aspect of the competition, yet it's not glamorous at all. Let me explain.
 First, let's talk tans. Competition spray tans aren't the same as getting your typical tanning salon or home done spray. The competition tan is darker, thicker, smellier, and most of the time a 2 day process. The first coat is typically applied on the Friday before the show, by a professional with a hand-held sprayer, and then the process is repeated Saturday morning. You might be wondering if you really have to be in your birthday suit for some random person to spray your every nook and cranny, paying special attention to those butt creases. Yes... So glamorous right ?!
Because the spray tan is a 2 day process, you generally go about 2 days without showering by the time it's all said and done...which wouldn't be…

Peak Week: An Inside View of NPC Bikini Competing- Day 3

What to do when you sleep through your cardio session 3 days out from a show: 

That's what I was planning to write about today... But as my feet pressed the pedals of the elliptical tonight, making up for my missed AM cardio, the tvs mounted in front of the cardio machines began go play a news story that shook me. 


Disturbing footage of a mother and father holding their lifeless toddler played out on the tv screen. The boy had stopped breathing and they weren't sure why. A police officer then came into the frame and began CPR on this small body of a boy. The look in the parents faces as they thought their son was dead... made me feel So. Damn. Lucky. Lucky to be on this elliptical. Lucky to be working towards my goals. Lucky to be sore, tired, and overworked at times. The desperate plea in the parents eyes for their son to have life...It gave me goosebumps and snapped me into a grateful perspective. I don't want to look at my health as a "have to" or burden. I want…

Peak Week: An Inside View of NPC Bikini Competing- Day 2

Mindset. That's the tough part.
It isn't the actual workouts, or meal prepping, or any of the physical acts that make competing "hard."  It's the mindset. The self-talk.  
I walked in to the gym at 5am today, a reel of motivating, positive self talk spinning through my head. What immediately followed, however, wasn't so encouraging. I started judging myself for mentally talking myself up so freely. The reel that began to play instead was an imaginary list of what I thought most people would want say to me if they could hear my excitement and optimism. It went something like this: 
Be realistic. There's no way you're the best, so why are you even expecting to have a good experience? Other people surely have been training longer than you. Your excitement is stupid and naive. 
Now, let me clarify that I don't actually believe that negative self-talk. But that's exactly why it struck me so deeply- I don't believe it, yet it continues to pop up…

Peak Week: An Inside View of NPC Bikini Competing- Day 1

It's finally here. The week of the NPC bikini competition I've been training for all summer. Many competitors think of "Peak Week" as the most important week of prepping for a competition. I like to think it's more like the 5 minute cool-down of the hour-long run on a treadmill...you feel exhausted on one hand, but have a giddiness of seeing the endpoint and accomplishment of the work you've put in.  
So what is "Peak Week," anyways? 
Simply put, it's the Monday through Friday leading up to your competition where you get to see how good you are (or aren't) at not losing your shit.
But really, many people do lose their shit. You envision your goal during months of training and all of a sudden it's in arms reach. Your nutrition, training, and schedule during Peak Week are specifically dialed in to make you look your best on stage. There is no room for error if you want to do your best, and the pressure can get in your head. 
Not to mentio…