Hey guys! Today marks 1-month since I began my cut and I am down 8-pounds, which means I am averaging about 2-pounds a week.

I want to go over a few changes that I have made since ending my bulk that are contributing to weekly success. First and foremost, an amazing non-stick pan. Maybe this is something that is a staple for some of you, but during my bulk almost every meal included butter or oil, which meant a cast iron skillet sufficed just fine. Now, butter and oils are kept to a minimum, and fats come mostly from wild salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, and an occasional egg yolk.

A second change I have made is cardio. While many may think that it takes endless amounts of time spent on the elliptical or running on the treadmill, I have only implemented about 15-30 minutes a day. This is something that will differ for everyone. For instance, when I was coaching regularly in the gym and getting in loads of steps, I never had to make time for additional cardio, but now that I work primarily from home and spend a good portion of the day on the computer, it means a lot more sitting. I make it a priority to get in about 15 minutes of cardio for every 3 hours I spend at my desk. This means I usually hop on the elliptical or stairmill mid day for a quick session to ensure I get in some steps.

Third, I remain consistent. I try to get in bed at the same time each night and I usually wake around the same time each day. I typically get my workout in first thing in the mornings because I feel I perform at my best in the morning, and two, I feel that it sets me up for success throughout the rest of my day.

Last but not least, a decrease in overall calories. It doesn’t mean going to extremes, it simply means making adjustments and eating more nutrient dense foods. As I mentioned, I switched from cooking with butter and oils to a non-stick pan which is a significant decrease in itself, and second, an increase in fibrous vegetables. For example while bulking, dinner may have consisted of 200 grams of potatoes, whereas now, I will opt for 100 grams of potatoes and 100 grams of cauliflower, cutting the carbs by about 20 grams while also increasing several key nutrients. I have also cut back on my sugar intake. When I say sugar, I am not referring to candy bars and soda, I mean tropical fruits, coconut water, breads and pasta. These were absolutely acceptable when trying to put on some size, but for now they are kept to a minimum, except for an an occasional post leg-day snack for glycogen replenishment.

When coming off of a bulk it is fairly easy to lose weight for the first 4 to 6 weeks. I had been in a calorie surplus for about 7 months, so any calorie decrease at this point in time will yield fairly good progress.


Below are my two check-ins since my last blog post. I weigh-in and take progress photos every 10 days.

Some of my main protein staples over the last two weeks have been chicken, ground turkey, Morning Star veggie sausage, salmon, rice and beans (the 2 combined yield a complete protein source), yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder. Carb sources are corn tortillas, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and a variety of legumes, vegetables and berries.

In order to make certain I am getting enough protein and key nutrients each day, I have 1-2 protein shakes and a green smoothie made from spinach, yogurt and mixed berries.

I usually make enough smoothies for the entire week at one time. While in the refrigerator they will separate and look a little “off” but as soon as you give them a shake, they’re good to go.

Thanks for continuing to follow along as I share my journey with you all. Hopefully these tips help you with your own journey. If you have been striving to lose weight, and your decreases aren’t as significant as you feel they should be, hang in there and remain consistent. Consistency is key! For someone that is just getting back into the gym after a break, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. If you are seeing a stall on the scale, then perhaps you are swapping out some fat for muscle, and that is a tremendous win!! Progress photos and measurements can often show results that the scale can’t measure. Keep going!

Hello friends! I have made it through week 1 of my cut, and as you will see, I am down just shy of 3-pounds. This leads me to share with you all what someone can usually expect during the first week of a cut, and where to begin.

There is no magic calculator that can determine the caloric range that an individual needs to start out with. There isn’t a range that works for everyone. If you’re flying solo and not hiring a nutrition coach, then I suggest taking the first week to find your base calories.

During the first initial week I focus on simply being conscious and aware, not only of my food choices, but listening to my body, eating when I’m genuinely hungry, and putting a time cap on my last meal of the day. I make certain to track all foods throughout the week using a tracking app, but I don’t have prescribed totals that I am trying to “hit” on a daily basis. At the end of week one, I will take an overall average of my calories, and then, I will determine my starting point regarding macros.

Myself, personally, I try to maintain a well balanced, nutritious diet all year round, so I don’t have to worry about making major changes to my food choices, but if you are a soda drinking, candy eating, sugar-fein, then now is the time to cut it out.

Coming off of a bulk and going into a cut is quite easy in the beginning. For the last 6-months, I ate when I was hungry, and then ate a little more to ensure I was in an obvious surplus. This week, I simply ate until I was full.

While I am more than thrilled to see a decrease on the scale this week, I am realistic and understand that a good portion of this total is water weight. Even the slightest carb decrease will result in less water retention (carbs are stored as glycogen, and each gram contains about 3 grams of water- hence why cutting carbs doesn’t always mean fat-loss).

As for training, at the moment, nothing will change. I typically get in 6-7 workouts each week, and take 2 full days of rest. This means that 1 to 2 days I will workout 2x a day. I lift heavy if my body allows me to, include lots of compound lifts, lots of intensity, and I try to make each workout really count. I take my dog for a 20-30 minute walk each day, and if I sit at the computer longer than 3 to 4 hours a day, I will jump on the elliptical or stair-climber for another 15-20 minutes to get some steps in.

I didn’t post my bikini photos last week because let’s face it, no-one likes to open themselves up for criticism, but ultimately, I decided if I am going to document this journey with you all, it’s only fair that I be as transparent as possible.

Like many females, I carry a lot of excess weight in my butt and upper legs, so when even the slightest of changes are made, these are the two places (on me) it is usually most obvious.

Day 7.
Day 1.


While weight training is extremely important in itself, nothing is more important than your diet when it comes to losing body-fat. You can workout every single day, but if you’re not eating right, you will never reach your goals. Below I have shared some of my favorite meals from the week. My primary carb sources consist of rice, oatmeal, corn tortillas, potatoes, lentils, and a variety of vegetables. My go-to proteins are ground turkey, ground beef (occasionally), salmon, chicken breasts, chicken sausage, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder. My fats primarily come from avocado, seeds, nuts, olive oil, butter and wild fish.

I would love to answer some of your questions throughout this series, if you have any. If you’re not following me on IG, give me a follow, and slide in those DM’s with your questions, or drop a comment below. These questions will help me determine what I can touch-on and share with you all throughout this series.

As always, thanks so much for following along as I share my journey.

Hello everyone! I am super stoked to kick off this new series, and share my journey along the way with you all! If you have followed along for a while, then you know I have completed several challenge series over the years: some were in prep for the stage, while others were simply getting ready for the beach. What separates this go-around from those in the past is, the work I have put in over the last 25 weeks.

Three years ago, just after turning 35, I decided to embark upon a vegetarian journey. It wasn’t something that I just did overnight, but it was something I had been working towards for a while. Being a nutritionist and writing nutrition programs for other people, I felt it was important that I gain a complete understanding from a vegetarian’s perspective. My protein sources came from fish, eggs, and dairy. I continued this approach for 24 months, and when I was ready to transition back, I re-introduced white meat in the form of chicken and turkey, and within a couple of months, red meat occasionally. My takeaway from this experience was extremely positive. I felt amazing throughout the journey, and personally, I never felt deprived or nutrient deficient in any way. What I did notice though, was a change in my post-workout recovery. I felt that delayed onset muscle soreness was more prevalent, and recovery time was a bit longer. However, I do keep in mind that this was over a two year period and let’s be real, after the age 35, recovery would probably take a bit longer. Either way, I decided to see if reintroducing meat back into my diet, could in fact reintroduce some muscle progression as well. So, that became my focus. For 6 months, I followed a bulking program that included a caloric abundance coupled with powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and short high intensity interval training sessions.

This bulk was different in comparison to previous bulking periods in the sense that, I avoided the scale completely. I have been successful in the past with putting on muscle, but the scale would often dictate my path. One has to understand that when you are bulking you will indeed put on weight, that’s the point; however, we all know good and well that seeing that increase on the scale can completely do your head in. So this time, to avoid de-escalating my progress, I just chose to avoid it. I took the batteries out, and the first time I saw my weight throughout this process was yesterday morning. One hundred and fifty pounds! I could not believe it. I was literally in shock! I have never weighed this much in my life! Am I completely solid? Of course not, but I would have never looked at myself in the mirror and put a 150-LB stamp on my physique. I am honestly quite thrilled with my progress, and the fact that I have made such notable changes makes this series so much more enjoyable. I cannot wait to see what’s hiding under this layer of fluff!

Along with my weigh-in, I took measurements and some snapshots to document day no. 1.

While I am feeling like a thick chick, and I don’t hate it, I am more than ready to see some abs and booty definition.

Because I have worked so hard and put so much time into this bulk, I will allow myself just as much time to lose the excess body fat. Instances in the past of being overzealous and losing too much, too quickly resulted in not only muscle loss, but metabolic disturbances that took a great deal of time to come back from.

So, I invite you to continue to follow along as I share the ins-and-outs of this journey over the next 20 weeks.

Hello friends and Happy New Year! While 2020 threw the entire world a curve ball with COVID-19, and most of us are eager for a fresh start in the new year, I have to say that 2020 was actually really good to me. Being in lockdown allowed me to slow down and focus on my ebook, a project that had been in the making for a while.

https://mycolorfulfoodjournal.selz.com

While in lockdown, I focused a great deal on creating habits and a daily routine. I am the type of person that relies on structure and without it, I am easily distracted. I knew that destructive behaviors such as endless social media scrolling, overeating, and binging on Netflix could possibly mean the return of some old bad habits, so I was determined to not let that happen.

Since I was no longer in the gym coaching, my 15,000 steps a day would be cut in half, so I knew this meant cutting my calories a bit, and adding in additional cardio throughout the day.
I continued waking up before the sun, and made certain that a workout was the start to each day. After lunch I typically jumped on zoom and completed a HIIT session with some of my mates, and evening walks with Jack O’doodle after dinner ended each day.

Thankfully, grocery stores remained essential, so keeping stocked with fresh foods and keeping meals prepped was never a problem.

In the end, because of self-destructing behavior in my past, I knew that creating consistency and regular routines throughout quarantine was imperative. Establishing a plan and remaining persistent over lockdown enabled me to make some positive changes in my physique, and more importantly, allowed me to remain unwavering in my wellness journey.

The photo on the left was taken just upon entering lockdown, and on the right, mid-July at 134 LBS.


Since pools and social festivities were put on hold this summer, I decided to begin my final bulk of the year a bit early. August 1st marked day 1, and I’ve been grinding hard over the last 25 weeks! I do believe this bulk has been my most successful to date, and I can’t wait to see what’s hiding under this current 150-LB frame!!

Monday will mark day no. 1 of my 2021 shredding series, so I invite you to subscribe and follow along!

There are several great benefits to drinking coconut water. I want to share with you why I personally choose this beverage, almost daily. Coconut water is full of potassium, an electrolyte that has numerous jobs. It helps conduct nerve impulses and muscle contractions and regulates the flow of fluids and nutrients in and out of the body’s cells. While these alone are great benefits, potassium isn’t typically the mineral that is depleted during a workout though, it’s sodium. So, while coconut water is loaded with potassium, and many more essential micronutrients, I choose it surrounding my workout, specifically, for its primary macronutrient, carbs. One cup of coconut water contains 15 grams of sugar. While I prefer to do HIIT training on an empty stomach, I like to consume both carbs and protein before and after my weight training workouts. Many refer to this time frame as the “window of opportunity.” It is during your workout and just after, that blood flow to the skeletal muscle increases. Because of the increased blood flow, the muscle is primed to accept nutrients. Once these nutrients are accepted they immediately stimulate muscle repair, strength, and growth. It is because of this “window of opportunity,” I like to have nutrients there, ready and available. But why coconut water, specifically? For one, I train early in the day, and I can’t force a solid meal down my throat that early. Second, I want the energy supply and nutrients there immediately, but I don’t want to feel it in my belly while lifting, so consuming a liquid form of nutrition that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates and protein is best (for me). I could just as easily opt to mix my protein with water and consume a handful of sour patch kids for my fast-absorbing carb source (the macros are exactly the same as coconut water), however, if I chose the second option, I would be missing out on all of the amazing micronutrients and their amazing benefits. The importance of nerve impulses and muscle contractions when it comes to Weightlifting is crucial. Every explosive movement begins with firing up your Central Nervous System, which then allows you to transfer power from your core to your extremities. Without the body’s ability to execute these impulses correctly, you can’t possibly find your greatest maximum power output.
As always, this is something I have found over time that works well for me. On average, most individuals don’t work out long enough or hard enough to really even need an electrolyte replacement drink, so water is perfectly fine, but for those that train outdoors, or at a higher intensity for longer than 60:00, electrolyte replenishers are great additions. Do keep in mind though the mineral most depleted for athletes is sodium, so other sports recovery drinks may be a better fit for some. As you can see, I keep plenty of G2 on hand. I enjoy training in the heat, and I love to sweat, so I do occasionally supplement with a sports recovery drink, as well. 

Hey guys! Here we are wrapping up week 4 of the F-45 Global Challenge!

I am currently sitting in the airport in Columbus, Ohio waiting to get back to Las Vegas. I have been in Ohio since Tuesday afternoon working with my fit fam, Gorilla Wear at the Arnold Sports Expo. While it was an absolute blast, I am more than ready to get back to my little doodle man (and of course my main man).

Tuesday began with meeting up with the team to get settled into our hotel. They originally had us an apartment rented for the week so we could all hang out together, but we were informed Monday morning that the apartment had an unexpected pipe burst, so we were relocated to the Hilton, downtown. The Hilton is one of the host hotels for the Expo so it actually worked out pretty well. The main thing that had us all a little aggravated was the fact we no longer had a kitchen to meal prep, which left us eating out every. single. meal. The breakfast buffet was actually re-vamped to cater to the Arnold and competitors so there was plenty of variety: eggs, egg whites, boiled eggs, steel-cut oats, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts, potatoes, and grilled veggies. We began every morning with a group meet up at the buffet before heading to the venue. During the day we were all so busy that we didn’t have time to think about food. We kept a cooler on hand jam-packed with fruit, protein bars, sandwiches, and protein drinks for those quick few minutes throughout the day that we could squeeze something in, but for the most part, we saved our feast for the evening. We ended up eating at the same restaurant every evening (with the exception of one night). The restaurant was literally right next door to the venue, so it was perfect for our raging late-night appetites. The menu was pretty limited for a vegetarian diet, but they did have a veggie burger that was pretty scrumptious. This ended up being my go-to four out of five days. While yes, it was good, almost anything after a ten-hour day would have sufficed. I will say however, they had a Scottish Ale that surpassed just about any beer that I have ever had. By evening two, everyone at our table had tried it and made it part of their regular order. Is beer considered acceptable on the challenge menu?! Um, no. No, it is not. But after an eight to ten-hour fast each and every day and working my booty to the bone, I drank that beer along with my black bean burger without a single trace of guilt.

Expo days are insane, intense, exhausting and motivating all at the same time. It is so inspiring to be surrounded by like-minded individuals that share the same passions and desires. We had several Gorilla Wear athletes that made appearances: Erko Jun, Felice Herrig, and William Bonac .

While all three were super warm and welcoming to everyone that came to the meetups, Erko, has a presence that cannot be dismissed. He is an extremely funny guy, and after a couple of days, I have to say that I am a total Erko Jun fan!

 

I got to meet a handful of people that I had only interacted with through social media. Meeting Jordan Edwards was a huge highlight for me this weekend. I have followed her for the last couple of years and always flip to her Instagram when needing a good ab workout. I was walking from the restroom back to our booth and recognized her and her boyfriend, Steve walking towards my direction. I went up and introduced myself, and she just wrapped her arms around me and squeezed me big. She was (genuinely) so sweet. We spoke briefly about the industry, and of course, had to grab a quick pic to document my fan-girl moment. 

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I met the hilarious Jen Heward, aka @hunnybunsfit while roaming around and while we did get a selfie, her eyes were closed and I looked a mess after a 10 hour day, so we’ll just leave that one in the mysterious cloud. I caught glimpses of several influencers that I admire and just being in the same venue sharing the same passions is enough for me. I didn’t have time (nor the patience) to stand in line to meet anyone.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I am sitting in CHM airport. I have to share with you all that I am sitting in the general food court and Jessica Arevalo is sitting to the right of me, and Bradley Martyn to my left. So on that note, I am going to hit pause on this entry, perhaps go say hello, make my way to my gate, and I will pick back up with you guys once back in Vegas.

Hey Fam! Happy Saturday! I wrapped up week number three of the F45 8-Week Challenge this morning with an EPIC Series Obstacle Race!

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Our gym was invited to set up a tent for the day so, of course, I jumped at the chance to get in on the action! This obstacle course was unlike any I have ever completed before in the sense there was minimal running, no water, and no mud! In total, it was just over two miles long making certain that each obstacle was back to back. It made for a short- yet super intense course and I loved it!

Most of the obstacles I was somewhat familiar with or had completed one similar in past races; however, when I came upon the keg carry, the kegs were filled with water instead of the usual sand, so to say it was demanding on the core is an understatement! It was a blast and a great (almost) midway point in the F45 challenge.