Black, sex-positive, fitness enthusiast, NPC Bikini Competitor, artist, and a nonbeliever. This is where I sound off and ardently gadabout my life.
I had to give up on competition in the NPC Eastern Championships last week.
That was the hardest decision I had to make all year, but looking at my finances, I knew, just like with Brooklyn Grand Prix, that I wouldn’t be able to put the money necessary to enter, ensure I came on stage with the best presentation (thinking about what to do with my hair, considering I have a short afro and I’d have to get a weave put in, which would run me a considerable amount getting the hair ALONE! Then there’s getting it styled, makeup, body waxing, manicure and pedicure, entry fee, etc, etc) and other needed things, like food and a place to go crash that’s not far from the venue, etc. The one thing I learned if nothing else, is that competing can be pretty expensive, especially if you’re like me: poor working class. My first show back in June left me totally broke for about a week, and I didn’t want to be that financially vulnerable again.
This was a big blow for me, on top of this prep being wrought with little physical setbacks from July: the case of reflux that led to balance issues, either via dehydration or something else (which still plague me currently), and the realization that I had to stop taking fat burners after I had an adverse reaction due to not drinking enough water, going through periods of feeling depressed probably because I had been contest dieting since the beginning of the year. It just seemed like the amount of obstacles coming my way was relentless and that I couldn’t, as hard as I tried, get over them. The lack of finances to enter and compete was the last straw on the camel’s back. So I’m done for the rest of the season. What now?
What’s next for Jazzy? Well, I’ve had to make some financial adjustments to my personal training package, so I’ve got a new personal trainer by the name of Aimee, who ROCKS! I just want to get strong again and not have to think tooo much about what I have to eat; I’m at 140 lbs right now, which is a good place for me to start thinking about muscle and strength building. I still want to try to lose some body fat at an okay level, bring it down to a level where I can think about getting some photos taken, do some more research on how I can go about more flexible eating via IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), doing a limited amount of cardio (35-40 minutes, 3 days a week, maybe 4. Depends on the workout regimen I receive from Aimee ^_^ ) I just want to relearn how to eat for long term fitness and health and not treat foods as “good foods” or “bad foods”. This will take time, but I’ve got about 5-6 months before I start thinking about cutting down for next season, so I can focus on creating the package I’m happy with.
And that’s the plan. Naturally, I’ll leave room for any changes or revisions.
So why do we keep using these excuses? We’re not teaching men anything about the consequences of their behavior (i.e. polite, real conversation warrants a response while unwanted come-ons do not). We’re merely taking the easy exit, and, simultaneously, indicating to men that we agree, single girls are “fair game” for harassment.
So what can we do? I think the solution is simple–we simply stop using excuses. If a man is coming on to you (and you are not interested–if you are, go for it, girl!), respond with something like this: “I’m not interested.” Don’t apologize and don’t excuse yourself. If they question your response (which is likely), persist–”No, I said I’m not interested.”
“Oh, so you have a boyfriend?”
“I said, I’m not interested.”
“So you’re a lesbian, then?”
“Actually, I’m not interested.”
“You seem crazy.”
“Nope, just not interested.”
Et cetera. You could even, if you were feeling particularly outspoken, engage in a bit of debate with the man in question. “Why is it that you think that just because I’m not interested, there must be an excuse? Why is it not an option that I’m simply not looking for a sexual encounter and/or something about the way that you approached me indicated to me that you have very little respect for women and therefore I would never be interested in having a sexual encounter with you regardless of my sexuality or relationship status?” (Or, ya know, switch it up as you see fit.) Questioning them back (if you have the energy) puts you back on an even playing field.
i don’t agree with this at all. for women who want to, yeah feel free to actually set yourself up for an argument with random creeps in bars, but i also feel like a lot of women probably don’t want to and also it’s a major safety issue. honestly if i’m hanging out with friends and trying to have a good time in a bar and some random creep won’t leave me alone, then i don’t particularly want to engage him in conversation, and i’d much rather he go away immediately even if that means pulling out the “i have a boyfriend” excuse. and i just feel like this type of approach puts the onus of educating men about our agency on us. i understand the inherent issues in using that excuse, but i also think a bar with a random creep is one of those situations where you shouldn’t be blamed for just wanting someone to go the hell away instead of arguing about your agency with some random creep.
this sounds like shit a cis white woman wrote because people will jump in from god to protect her when shit gets tough
errybody else just gone get fucked over by this
Even worse when you’re approached like this out on the street, where 9 times out of 10, you’re pretty much on your own. You can say you’re not interested or that you’re in a relationship until the cows come home, some dudes just DON’T CARE, and they’re fulfilling their objective: keep you talking to them.
So, I’m having to come to a decision which is probably better I come to now than later.
I’ll have to skip the NPC Brooklyn Grand Prix.
Not because I don’t think I’ll be ready physically. I won’t be ready financially.
Looking at my current financial situation, where I’m basically living paycheck to paycheck, unable to hold onto any money to save for a rainy day, I won’t be able to put forth the money necessary to ensure that my total presentation—-hair, tanning, makeup, nails, waxing, jewelry—-will be good. I paid the price for spreading my money too thin back in June after my first show (while it ensured that I didn’t rebound and gain lots of weight back, it was more of a struggle to make ends meet. Don’t want to go through that again.). Hell, I couldn’t even participate in a Team photo shoot because I didn’t have the money (not to mention, my body’s not where it needs to be for good photos).
Not only must I put the rest of my competition schedule on hold, I may have to rethink my financial options in regards to training: what type of package to continue with, do I just go with an workout split+nutrition package, etc. Things have gotten very, very hard and until I’m able to get a second job or develop a side hustle that can get some extra income in my pockets, I have to make some cuts and changes in my current plan.
As of 10:40 tonight, I emailed my personal trainer/coach telling her my decision. Not the easiest one to make, but I think I’ve made the best choice I’ve made for this prep. I’ll take the extra time to make sure that I not only have a better physique, but I’ll have the resources to bring in a better presentation than back in June.
"I’ll be lifting till November, I’ll be liftin’ till November……"
Today after lifting, I did 45 minutes of cardio, divided up between the HIIT intervals on the treadmill for 25 minutes & steady-state cardio on the elliptical for 20 minutes.
The great thing about HIIT cardio is that you can make up any kind of intervals to engage in as long as for however long you choose to go intense, you go hard as you can! I tend to make up intervals on the spot the day of. This helps to keep cardio interesting and to see how much I can push myself.
Here’s the breakdown of what I did:
6-minutes intervals of a 1-minute run and a 1-minute jog followed by 2 minutes walk to recover (repeat 1x)
3-minute intervals of a 1 minute run, 1 minute jog, then a 1 minute walk (repeat 1x)
1 minute run
Total amount of time: 25 minutes (then a 2 minute cool down walk)
After this, I jumped on the elliptical for 25 minutes, changing the incline and resistance level every 5 minutes.
Needless to say, this was the end result:
Give that sample HIIT cardio routine a try! You can switch out running for jogging and jogging for walking if you’re just starting out or if running’s hard on your knees. Start slow and small, but give it your all!
It’s September. That means if you start today you can get a solid 4 month jump-start on your new year’s resolutions. What are you waiting for?!?
Today was a great day for back and rear delts! Today was the last day of my old workout split. The gym was buzzing today, so available free weights were a bit scarce. But that just means you have to improvise with what you can get your hands on!
Here’s what I did today:
Barbell Row: 45x12x2, 50x11, 55x10
One-arm Dumbbell Row: 40x10, 40x9, 35x11, 20x15
Standing Alternate Cable Row: 25x12, 27.5x12, 30x12
Back Extension: 10x12x3
Reverse Pec Dec: 50x8/40x4(drop set),40x11, 30x12
For abs, I did three sets of ab rollers with a 35lb barbell and three sets of 15 leg lifts on the Romanian chair. Then I moved onto the last thing for the day….CARDIO!
I decided to do a mix of Mid to HIIT—High Intensity Interval Training—on the Stairmaster. Here’s the breakdown of what I did:
1:00-5:00 Warm up at levels 5-6
5:00-10:00 1-minute intervals at level 6(slow), then at levels 10-11(fast)
10:00-12:00 Skipping steps at level 5-6
13:00-15:00 Skipping steps at levels 9
15:00-20:00 1-minute intervals at level 6(slow), then at levels 11-12(fast)
20:00-25:00 Steady pace at levels 4 through 8
25:00-30:00 1-minute intervals at level 6(slow), then at levels 11-13(fast)
And THIS was the result:
Give that lil HIIT cardio routine a try. Guaranteed to make you sweat!!
I think I’m depressed.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way.
I’ve been going and going for so long that when a health issue comes up and forces me to slow down, I go through and very rough down period. And that’s what’s happening to me right now.
This wasn’t how the rest of my summer was supposed to go. I was supposed to be enjoying the rest of my bikini prep for October 5th, working out with friends on Saturdays, and charging through school. But that’s not how things turned out. And it’s all thanks to vertigo, with some assistance from a big case of burnout.
Mid-July, I had been feeling like I need to detach from social media and everything; I just hit a point where I just felt overloaded with every little issue and I needed to back away for a bit. Then, during the heatwave, I had a SNAFU with a fat burner I’m usually good at taking; I thought I was hydrated enough for two doses, but…I wasn’t. So I was experiencing some harsh side-effects on the train ride to work that let me kinda shook on taking the supplement—-or any supplement with a diuretic—-until I was certain I’d drank enough water. Then, on a Sunday night that I had to go to bed early, I had a VERY hard time going to sleep thanks to leftover anxiety/panic from the fat burner situation and a bad case of reflux. I awoke the next day feeling very unsteady, as if the world was moving, while I sat down, stood up or lied down to sleep. And THAT is what I’ve been dealing with physically for the past four weeks. Doctors (and my mom, who’s a nursing student) say it’s dehydration and I need to take it easy. But the longer this goes along, the less I fear it’s just dehydration, or maybe it is, I dunno. It’s such a fucking nonspecific symptom, and I haven’t been dizzy or anything, just plagued with tilting and moving sensations while sitting or standing, and when I walk, my body reacts or feels as if I’m walking on a boat or with a heavy weight on me or something. It’s an annoyance at best and disorienting and somewhat paralyzing at worst. Whenever this thing passes, I’ll never take for granted having a good sense of balance. EVER. :(
Feeling so out of control and without solutions that work have REALLY been a downer on my “spirit”. There are days when if I’m occupied or especially after I work out, that I feel fine, despite dealing with the symptoms all day. But there are days—-like today—-where I lose all desire to do anything, go anywhere, engage in any activity that involves moving around. And feeling that powerless physically leads to feeling powerless in other areas….areas where I’ve been plowing through and holding myself off from thinking about, until now. Feeling depressed about my current physical situation further compounds the feelings of complete burnout with school that I’ve been dealing with for the past few months. I have zero interest in classes and my major, zero interest in my current job, my workouts haven’t been consistent, and I just have an all-around feeling of inadequacy and feeling unstable in financial(not having or making enough money) and home matters(A cluttered room equals a cluttered life….or so I’ve heard. LOL). And during my down moods, I feel sad, anxious, alone, and disconnected from everyone and everything.
I know and understand that one goes through down periods every so often, and this thing I’m going through is a temporary thing. But I do become discouraged and troubled each passing day when I feel as if there’s no end in sight for these vertigo symptoms. I can handle any mental or emotional turmoil as long as my physical health is intact, but when that area is in trouble, everything else falls down from there.
There are definitely areas in my life that need change, and there are so many, I think, that I don’t even know where to begin. I thought I could start with getting better, but I have no idea when these symptoms will subside. The best I can do is to follow the doctor’s instructions and increase my water intake and stay away from fat burners with stimulants and diuretics. I will have to take a much more natural and most likely slower approach to competing. I definitely want to be back on stage again and get into fitness modeling or training, but not at the cost of my health. I will have to cultivate safer and natural ways to get and retain fat loss.
Down the line I will have to do something to better my money situation. I’m not sure where that road will take me, but 29K doesn’t really do much to help me these days. I’m just not sure how best to go about improving this area. Anything I think of doing will take time to build up before seeing any monetary benefits, so….I feel stuck in place.
I’m sure there’s more I can add to this, but I think I’ve gotten off everything that needed to be said, so I’ll stop here. Today wasn’t a good day, and all I can do is try my best to make tomorrow a good one. Working out has proven to be a great mood changer, so I’ll be sure to do that, drink more fluids, make sure I eat enough during the day, and talk with people so I don’t feel so disconnected from the world.