Motivation Monday: The Weighted Truth

So, when I tell people I am training to do bodybuilding (bikini/fitness competition) I get all sorts of comments and crazy looks. People wonder why I want to get so big and why I lift heavy.

One co-worker asked if I was "going to look like a man," while another athlete asked me if I am going to get bigger than my husband. Seriously?

Some people have made rather disparaging remarks about women who are heavy lifters and compete in physique categories.

For all of those out there wondering what I am going to look like, here is this week's motivation in the form of this picture...

So we have two women on the left (what women think happens) and the two women one the right (what really happens). My goal is to be on the right side. Lean, toned, and athletic.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with how the male and female bodies differ, here is some basic information:
1. Men have more testosterone. Enough said.
2. Men naturally carry more muscle mass than women.
3. Women's breast do not get bigger because they lift weights (if that was the case, I would have started weight lifting in middle school, haha). If anything they actually get smaller because you are decreasing your body fat. Boooo!!!

While there are some women who do look like the professional bodybuilders on the left, most of those women take some form of anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve high degrees of muscularity. That is not something that happens just by lifting weights alone. And most of those female bodybuilders have a crazy work ethic, are in the gym multiple times a day, and some even have good genes :)

And while, that life style or body type may not be for you, it does not mean it is not attractive. Since my training journey, I have met some insanely muscular women, and they are beautiful from the inside-out. They are fierce competitiors, and have dynamic muscle definition that I would kill for.

Long story, short: Do not be afraid of weights. Lift hard, lift heavy and you will see your woman curves become even more pronounced. I promise you... you will not look like a man.

beautiful fitness competitors who lift weights

Check out some of the fitness/figure competitors on Bodybuilding.com or the NPC/IFBB websites. All of those women train hard and heavy, and they look like women.

Lift like a man, look like a woman.

Until Next Time...
~ Q. Olivia


Fitness Facts: Supplement Your Fitness

Our society is all about the quick fix, especially when it comes to weight loss and health. We have gone from a "right now" mentality to a "5 minutes ago" mindset. Everything is faster, sharper, shinier, quicker, and slimmer.

In recent conversations I have heard several men and women negatively discuss vitamins and supplements, as if they were drugs or performance enhancers. Yes, late night infomercials are notorious for advertising "Get Quick" results from their products. Promises of dramatic weight loss in a matter of days or weeks. Deep down we know this information is inaccurate, but the next big thing is ever present in our media. Even supplement companies have promised the perfect body with a magic pill.

Hit the pause button and rewind. With all of the commercials and articles, we have forgotten the real purpose of a nutritional supplement and what it supplies your body with, and what it does not do for the body. With all of the information out there about dietary supplements, it can be hard to filter the truth from the sales pitches.

A supplement is defined as something that is added to make complete, make up for a deficiency, or strengthen and extend the whole. Synonyms for supplement include: addition, replenish, complement, or add. In simple terms, a supplement is to help make up for a lack of something in your diet, or to help you get more of a particular nutrient that you aren't getting enough of in your regular diet.

For example, I am anemic. I have two types of anemia. Iron deficiency and pernicious anemia. Both types are caused by a lack in something that my body does not produce enough. Obviously the first one is a lack of iron, and the pernicious is caused by a lack of vitamin B12. As a result, I spent my early college years fainting, experiencing extreme fatigue, having abdominal/intestinal issues, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, and false positive Pap smear results. After finally going to the hospital and being examined, the doctors told me the results and my treatment options.

So I began eating foods that were filled with Iron and Vitamin B12. When I went back up for a follow up, my levels had increased slightly, but were still below what doctors considered healthy. So, nutritional supplements were recommended. After a few weeks of consistently eating properly and taking multivitamins, I begin seeing a difference in my energy levels and my focus. I also did not get dizzy from standing too quickly, and physical activity did not leave me with no breath. After a month of changing of this new regiment, I returned to my doctor, and he was ecstatic to see that my Iron and B-12 levels were finally above the red line. I was too!!

Health Benefits
While there are many opinions of vitamins and supplements, they have a specific purpose. They are micronutrients that benefit the body in a unique way. Vitamin A supports bone growth and vision. Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and helps repair our DNA. Iron carries oxygen in the blood both in the blood and muscles. Vitamin B12 is a crucial vitamin that plays a key role in the functioning in our brain and nervous system.

So as you can see vitamins and minerals are crucial in allowing our bodies to heal and protect itself. Taking a multivitamin does not make up for an unhealthy diet nor are they a substitute for nutrients you can get from fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They are a safeguard against periodic vitamin shortfalls in your diet.

Choosing A Vitamin

  • You get what you pay for. I am not saying that you have to spend hundreds of dollars on a multivitamin or an iron pill, but super cheap generic brands are usually a waste of money and time. You do want to go with quality over quantity. After all, this is your health.
  • Natural + Organic. Look for vitamins that do not have tons of fillers and unnecessary ingredients. This tends do just drive up the price for things you do not really need. If you can research the farms. Are they organic? Did the farm use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers? If so, your vitamins may have been stripped of their natural ingredients.
  • Choose one that provides a variety of minerals and vitamins, like a multivitamin. Unless your doctor recommends it, avoid taking supplements that provide a single mineral or vitamin.
  • Check the expiration date. The vitamins I use are pretty high quality. They are manufactured as I order them, so they are never sitting on a store shelf for over a week. Never buy supplements that do not have an expiration date. If there is an expiration date, make sure you will be able to finish the bottle.
  • Take your vitamins with food. This is a good reminder to also eat healthy. Remember, they are supplements, not food. Do not take think these can replace a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
  • Always read the ingredients. Watch out for any allergies!!
  • Contact the company if you have questions. A company that sells quality vitamins should have a customer service that can answer your questions and provide you with information about what you are taking.
  • Remember that no supplement has ever proved to cure diseases. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of supplements, or people that make promises of quick and dramatic results.
As most of you know, I run an online company with my husband marketing a particular vitamin and supplement company, so I am extremely loyal and biased. At the same time, I took the time to research the company, their methods, and sample the products, so I am not just blowing hot steam. I personally know the benefits and importance of taking a vitamins and supplements. I encourage everyone to research and select the best option for them.

Vitamins are not meant to be scary, they are meant to provide added benefit to your lifestyle and diet.  Always consult your doctor or health care provider when beginning a supplement regimen. And as always, if you have any questions or wish to discuss this topic, you can always post them here.

Make this the year to enhance your health and supplement your lifestyle.

Until Next Time,
~ Q. Olivia


Motivation Monday: The Year of You

Happy 2013!! It is the first Monday of the year and I am feeling great. I hope goals and resolutions have been set and that in the last seven days you have managed to stick to them with me. It has already been a field of temptations. Saturday I turned down fries that my husband offered my on his plate. They smelled good. Looked good. I bet they tasted good, too. I forced my hand not to reach over and grab one like I do every time he orders fries. A small victory, but an important one. One fry always leads to multiple fries with me.

This week's motivation comes to us from Nike, the company who is famous for telling everyone to "Just Do It". This particular poster caught my eye because it talks about the next 12 months potentially being the best 12 months of your life. In 2012, goals may have been set and not reached (I did not compete in a fitness competition like I wanted) and that is alright. We have twelve months to change our lives. Twelve months to commit. Twelve months to say... this is the year of me.

With that being said, I would like to announce my fitness motto for this year:


I am excited about what 2013 has in store. I hope to reach all of my goals, but even if I fall short or make some updates, I know that in everything, I will give my best. I will push myself. I will not make excuses. I will commit it in my heart and in my mind. This time next year, I will be a new person, inside and out. Remember, fitness and health are a lifestyle. It is a journey, not a destination; therefore, it should encompass life lessons, good days, challenges, but most importantly, passion.

This is our year. I look forward to hearing about all of your success!!

Until Next Time,
~ Q. Olivia