Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tara Ballard Contest Prep

2/22/10 through 2/28/10- There is no such thing as a "free lunch"

Before I discuss the above subject line, I wanted to give a quick update on my Dad's condition, and our continuing battle with his insurance company to reinstate coverage for a medication that is critical to his survival. Last week (due in large part to Jason's blog), we found out that a new treatment Dad is on is having great success in clinical trials at Boston University Medical Center. Dad has had two treatments so far, and it is kicking his butt. He has been really sick the past few days, but we are hopeful that this will subside once his system adjusts. I wish so much that I could wave a magic wand and he would be back to normal!

On the legal front, the attorneys are moving forward with their appeal to the insurance company. Whether or not this new medication helps, it is still THEIR fault that his symptoms have gotten as bad as they have. If he had been able to continue taking the medication that was PROVEN to work for him, then we wouldn't be in this predicament. Watch out, Big Insurance Company, we are coming for you! I would absolutely love to expose (in a big way) this company's horrendous behavior in this, and I'm sure many other matters. They look at Dad as a number, not a person. If they would take five minutes and review the facts, they would see that their decision is totally and completely WRONG. I am usually a very laid back person, not too much gets to me, and many have called me "grace under pressure". Mess with my family though, and that's another story!

Yes, I get pretty worked up over I will move on......


We have all heard that phrase right! What I'm referring to, however, is our society's "quick fix" mentality, especially as it relates to getting fit, losing weight, etc. It seems everyone wants a "great body", but they aren't willing to do the work to get that body. Instead, the fall prey to the latest fad diet, pill, or exercise contraption advertised on late-night TV that promises "your best body ever in just 60 seconds a day". I am here to tell you folks, THERE IS NO QUICK FIX! It takes hard work to makes change happen, especially if being active and eating clean are not part of your current lifestyle. I overheard someone say the other day, "I really want to lose weight and get in shape, but I'm afraid I'll be sore if I exercise." Yes, I'm telling the truth, and herein lies the problem with a lot of people in our society. They want the body, but aren't willing to do the work to get it.

Am I talking about spending hours upon hours in the gym or eating celery sticks for every meal! No way. A lot of you know that I USED to spend hours in the gym. Now my workouts are shorter, but more intense. I work HARD and make every minutes of my shorter workouts count. When I'm finished with a workout, I am truly finished- meaning I can absolutely do no more. As far as diet goes, eating clean does NOT mean depriving or starving yourself.... just the opposite, in fact!

I think another issue is that a lot of people honestly don't know how to exercise or eat clean. I was raised in the South, so that means meals growing up consisted of fried chicken, collard greens cooked with fatback ( does anyone really know what fatback is!! I don't, and I'm not sure I want to know!), mashed potatoes (my Mom made the BEST), and Coca-Cola. Somewhere along the line though, I realized that I couldn't eat like that long-term. Unfortunately, most people who have eaten like this most of their lives simply continue on with the status quo because it's all they have known, and either they don't know how to change, or don't want to change. For me, I saw what was happening around me, and I made the decision to make eating clean and working out part of my LIFESTYLE. It is as much a part of me as breathing. Do I indulge every once in awhile? Absoultely. Would I ever go back to the Deep South Diet every day? Absoultely NOT! Why not? Because being healthy and eating clean is my lifestyle. I not only look better when I maintain my lfestyle, but I FEEL better. Everything clicks into place.

So.... if you are serious about changing your body, then make the decision and go for it! Realize that is a lifestyle change, not merely a habit. If you don't know where to start, enlist the help of a trainer, nutritionist, and/or research online. A good palce to start is THis site contains a wealth of information on fat loss, exercise, and eating clean.

If you want to change, you must work for it. It doesn't happen overnight; but it does happen, and it is so rewarding when it does! I see it every day in my personal training cleints- they inspire ME>

On to training and diet for the week. I'm still on my hypertrophy diet, and will be for another 4 or 5 weeks. A short note regarding diets, a lot of people request that I post my diet online. There are a few reasons that I won't do this. The main one being that my deit is customized for ME. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter Figure or Bodybuilding diet. Yes, tehre are similiar componenets, but the way I respond to certain foods may be different than everyone else. Also, my goals may be different than others, and my diet will reflect that. It's not about being secretive or anything! If you want a diet customized for YOU, contact me- I can help you. :-)

Workouts for the week went as follows:

AM: 30 minutes incline treadmill sprints, Abs
PM: Back/Biceps with Jill

45 minute 15% incline treadmill walk intervals

AM: 30 minutes Stepmill HIIT/Sprints
PM: Legs with Jill


AM: Abs
PM: Shoulders/Chest/Triceps with Jill

15 minutes Stepmill HIIT
15 minutes running stairs at the gym two at a time, then alternating two at a time, with one at a time.
Heavy Legs/Heavy Abs


** I continue on the EDT path for lying leg curls and leg extensions. This week, I increased my leg extension reps by 20%, whcih means it's time to increase the weight for that this Saturday.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, I would lvoe to hear from you. Feel free to email me at I'm also on Facebook and twitter.

Until next time- train hard, and find happiness in every day!


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