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Nov. 13th, 2011 @ 02:28 am (no subject)
Heeyy, everyone! It's been so long. I've been busy...I didn't forget about my poor, neglected blog. I want to be more consistent...I just feel like the only things I can blog about on here on fitness related topics; and there's SO much more to me than that. Don't get me wrong...eating healthy, working out, and finding new ways to do both without falling asleep from boredom still tops my list. BUT, there's a lot more to me than protein shakes, squat racks, and lat raises.

SO...what do I do?

I've been comtemplating starting a NEW blog. Where I post about everything from my day, to a picture of the new sweater I bought, to a spirited discussion about 72 day marriages and the merits of false eyelashes.

See? TOLD you I was well-rounded. :p

I don't want to have ANY set topic to write about or NOT write about. Here's the problem: I know as much about blogs as Kim Kardashian probably knows about quantum physics. (Kim, I love you boo. Put down the curling iron.) So what do I do? What website do I use? HOW DO I START? I haven't felt this uneducated since the first day of nursing school.

Oh, wait? You didn't know I was a nurse? To close things out, here's a list of things I like and things about me that HAVE NOTHING TO DO with fitness.

1.) I'm a pediatric nurse. I've been one now for a little over 2 years.
2.) There's something wrong with my laptop keyboard. Letters have been sticking together. Especially the space bar. If I don't look down frequently sometimesthingslookliketis. #grrr
3.) I love Twitter. And #hashtags. Great invention.
4.) I've been in a long-distance relationship for 5 years. I'm moving to the city where my wonderful boyfriend lives in December! (San Francisco, in case ya'll was wondering.)
5.) I KNOW tanning is really bad to do, but I kinda love it and I might've just gotten a one-month membership at the tanning salon down the street. #Confession
6.) I'm a really bad driver. No, really.
7.) I absolutely LOVE reading. I'll read almost any book. When I was younger, my mom used to catch my reading the phone book when I ran out of books. #Embarassing
8.) I have a brilliant, one-sided love/hate relationship with Kim Kardashian. It became a /hate after the 72 day marriage debacle thingy. Surriously, Kim?! But, I LOVE her. She's beautiful, styish, and hella misguided.
9.) I know nothing about video games, but my SO will one day be designing them for a living. So I've been trying to find out more about the gaming industry!

Sooo...there ya go, peeps. If anyone has any suggestions or resources on how I can educate myself when it comes to being a better bloggy blog blogger, leave a comment or email me at AshleyLPelletier@gmail.com

<3
About this Entry
Oct. 4th, 2011 @ 04:24 pm Updates!!!
Hey, everyone! It's been way too long, huh?

I figure I'll update on what's new in my life....In three months, I'm moving to San Francisco! I'm very excited about this. I'm here right now, as I had a job interview out here this past week. I got it!

This is a HUGE change for me, but I am so ready to give it my all!!! I'm ready to start a new chapter in my life.

I've taken the last 2 weeks off from clean eating, and I've only gone to the gym a few times. I've definitely gained some weight as a result.... I've been PIGGING out. Kinda gross, but I really felt like I just needed a break.

I've been dieting for pretty much a year....and when I started my offseason plan, I found I was cheating ALL the time and getting really miserable. It just sucked! Finally, I decided I just needed to take some time off.

I feel ready to get back on track...my goal is to have a FLAT belly by Thanksgiving. I DEFINITELY don't have one right now!!! :Yikes:

That's OK, though. Sometimes, we all just need to live.

So follow along as I prepare to look my best yet! Eight weeks to go til Thanksgiving!!!! 51 days....I'm ready!!!!!

What's going on in everyone's fitness life right now? Let me know!!!!!

I'm always listening at BikiniAshley_62@yahoo.com ;)

Remember....an ounce of action is worth more than a pound of words!!!!!

-Bikini Ashley
About this Entry
Aug. 10th, 2011 @ 10:36 am Healthy Iced Coffee!!!
Hey everyone! Is it hot enough yet out there for you? It's been very humid and sweaty so far...One of the things I hate about clean eating and dieting is driving by Dunkin Donuts!!! Before I started training & dieting, I used to go to DD everyday for hot coffee, iced coffee...lattes, all with cream and sugar. And now that I'm in my offseason, I'm even more tempted to do so! But don't despair, I found a way to make that iced coffee taste come alive (and it's a lot better than boring old black coffee.)

Order a Large Black Iced Coffee from Dunkin
Add 1 packet Stevia (you can also use the liquid Stevia, it comes in different flavors, as well.)
Now, put a small amount of Coffee Mate Sugar free coffee creamer- I like the Hazelnut flavor.

Stir, and enjoy! Tastes just like a iced coffee with cream and sugar, but no guilt! The coffee creamer is dairy free, so it won't mess with your stomach or derail your diet plan.

What's your favorite clean eating twist on a summer favorite?
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Aug. 9th, 2011 @ 06:03 pm Offseason 2011 Has BEGUN!
Hey everyone! My 2011 offseason has begun and been in full swing for about 2 weeks now. I enjoyed about a full week off of dieting after my second show, and I am now on a muscle-building plan! I want to improve my body all over, especially my legs and glutes.

I've been getting a lot of great training sessions in, and also been trying new things! Today I did a kettlebell workout with my good friend, WBFF Figure Pro, Fleur de Kine. It was awesome!

I am looking to compete twice again next year..my boyfriend and I may do a show together, as well! Fun, right?

What are YOUR goals for the rest of this summer?

Feel free to email me at BikiniAshley_62 to chat or ask questions!!!

Blessings,

BikiniAshley
About this Entry
Aug. 9th, 2011 @ 05:50 pm (no subject)
On June 18th, the day of the NPC CT State, I did a photo shoot with Dylan Cyr. Here's a few photos from it!




About this Entry
May. 4th, 2011 @ 10:03 pm Cheating Can Be Good ;)
So... You guys are getting downright spoiled. Two posts in one night? What?! Psshhh. Don't get used to it.

However, I.GOT.A.CHEAT.MEAL.

And to not blog about it would be a sin. I mean, come on! It was an epic meal. Granted, I have pedestrian tastes and it was a stuff-my-face-til-I-couldn't-move-fest; still, I think I did us dieters proud ;)

I got the news early Saturday AM. My coach had reviewed my progress pictures. I waited with bated breath for my phone to ding. I wondered what he'd say. Did I look good? Bad? Indifferent?

The text came. "I want u to have a cheat meal. Anything u want. Night before u hit hams and glutes."

O M to that G!!!

Instantly I began to plan the meal. I think having something to look forward to actually took away some stress- it was nice to focus on something besides DIET FOOD!

In the end, after much debate, consultation, research, and poring over 19 restaurant menus, this is what I ate:

1 small pepperoni pizza with extra pepperoni, extra cheese, and extra sauce.

2 Reese's BIG cups

2 Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcake Rolls

It was delicious. And that's all I can say about it.

I realize some of you may not be familiar with the SS rolls. So here's a photo.




Beautiful box containing HFCS filled goodness. Aaaaaahhhh.




Like a Twinkie. But better. Way better. I promise.

On that note.... I'm just gonna end the entry, because I don't want to spoil the memories of my special night. Thank you PJ Braun =)

WWW.BRAUNFITNESS.COM

WWW.TABIFIT.COM

The writer of this blog does not endorse nor approve the consumption of Little Debbie, Hostess, or HFCS containing products.... Consume at your own risk.
About this Entry
May. 4th, 2011 @ 09:45 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: determined
Hey Everyone!

I know it's been a few days (OK... quite a few.) And I'm sorry! Contest prep is keeping me busy- but it's going terrific, and I certainly can't complain. I'm right where I should be- I'm progressing well, I feel fantastic, and my prep team is very pleased with how I look (as am I.)

Even better, I posed for an hour today, and my presentation is simply the best its ever been.

I've been practicing since January, so this has been a long time coming!!! I've put in HOURS in the posing room- I've devoted A LOT of time, energy, and concentration into how best to display my hard-earned physique.

With those updates out of the way, tonight's post is for my lovely friend and reader from Australia, Erin Gain! *Follow her on Twitter- @ErinGain. I'm waiting.... Go do it!!!

She asked... what's in my gym bag?

Here's just some of the essentials. Not all of it is pretty. ;)

My Posing Shoes: Very important, as 4-5 times a week I need to practice my stage presentation in those very high heels (5 inches, to be precise.) No one ever won a show by winging it! (Well, um, maybe they did, but I'm not into winging it.)

A few bottles of CytoSport Fast Twitch RTD: (Red or Purple flavor) This is a great preworkout with 200mg caffeine. It's perfect for my contest prep because it has 0 calories. I found out about it from my kick-ass personal trainer, IFBB Pro Tabitha Leandri!

A bikini: To pose in, of course! (BikiniAshley Hint: NEVER pose in your actual suit at the gym- you want to surprise everyone on show day. Plus, its bad luck. Save trial runs for home posing.)

A pair of headphones- Gotta have awesome music for motivation. Stick these into my Windows phone, get YouTube going, and I'm all set.

Some Ca$h- In case I need to buy water, or a preworkout drink!

A thong- I don't know why, but there was a thong in my gym bag!!! LOL!

My Contest Prep Journal- I write EVERYTHING in here- how much I slept the night before, how I feel emotionally that day, how much caffeine I've taken in, supplements, any changes my prep coach made- etc. It's an invaluable tool to look back on =)

Chapstick- Duh!

Hand lotion- I don't like wearing gloves or using chalk. This keeps them smooth after lifting heavy weights. ;)

Meals- Whatever meals are to be eaten for after the gym! Got to be prepared =)

A picture of my boyfriend- Because I miss him, and I love him!

That's pretty much it, right now. I usually also have a change of clothes if I need to go somewhere after. I am a PERFECTIONIST, and I make sure I leave the house with EVERYTHING I will need for the time I'll be gone. Otherwise, why bother? =)

XOXO, BikiniAshley

Don't forget to follow me: @BikiniAshley_62

"Give 100% to everything that you do, and you'll never have to second guess yourself."

"I cardio 100%. I train 100%. I diet 100%. I rest 100%. I pose 100%. When I step on that stage there WILL BE NO doubts as to whether or not I gave it every ounce that I had in order to win." -Me
About this Entry
Apr. 22nd, 2011 @ 11:57 pm This Is How I Spell Motivation
Motivation.

It can straight up LAG when prepping for a show.

To the outside world, you seem like the most motivated person on the planet.

You're carrying a gallon jug. You're always wearing training gear. You're making progress that can be seen by the outside world from week to week.

And you;re usually eating something that smells.... well, BAD.

If that doesn't take motivation. what does?!

But honestly?

There's been times in my contest prep journey where I've wanted to lay down (and, gasp... DIE.)

How the hell am I staying motivated through all of this? Not only am I training harder than I've ever trained in my life, I'm also a pediatric nurse who works 40 hours a week. I do cardio, I have friends, and oh yeah, I've been in a relationship with an amazing man for five years.

There's a few key things that have helped- but I want to dig deep with the main ingredient, here, so listen close.

This is how I spell motivation.

C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N

(Shit, I hope I spelled it right.)

Look, NO ONE (and I mean NO ONE) wants this more than I do. NO ONE is going to be able to step on that stage June 18th and say they have worked harder than I have to get there.

So to slack off and risk having someone take that away from me?

Awwww hellllll na. Don't think so!!!!!

Honestly, I just repeat those mantras over. And over. And over again. Until they make me sick.

The other things that are keeping me motivated and sane:

Chad, my boyfriend,
offering me daily reality checks. He also picked out my suits. And agonized with me over bikini bottom styles. For.Two.Hours. (Truth.)

IFBB Bikini Pro Tabitha Leandri,
my trainer. This figure didn't happen by accident and neither do the workouts. (Hers are brutal.)

PJ Braun, my nutrition coach.
He's honest, he lets me ask LOTS of questions, and he knows his stuff. I've never looked better in the 26 years I've been alive- and more importantly. I've never FELT better. You need to FEEL good as well as LOOK good while prepping for a contest- otherwise, why bother?

Diet Dr. Pepper.
I can still have diet soda in my nutrition plan. I have one a day cause I don't want to overboard.

Twitter. There are SO many inspirational and motivational people on there that I tweet with throughout the day! It also helps pass the time while waiting for my next meal! <3

And finally, Gold's Gym New Haven. If you train there and aren't motivated.... well, I can't help you.

Crap. I forgot something.

Online shopping. I may have been doing a lot of it.

Oh well. At least I haven't cheated on my diet!!!

XOXO, Ashley

"Motivation is like showering. They're both recommended daily."

About this Entry
Apr. 14th, 2011 @ 02:44 pm The Power of a Year
I shared with you all that I have struggled most of my life with eating disorders. It's something I want to (and will) explore further on this blog, as I feel its a topic that needs addressing by competitors in particular.

I would definitely hesitate to say that I was either "anorexic" or "bulimic" at any stage during my life. Those are labels... and an eating disorder is something very complex that defies a mere clinical definition. Rather, I battled what I've heard termed "disordered eating-" an unhealthy lifestyle that can combine the worst of both anorexia and bulimia, as well as compulsive binge eating. Individuals who suffer from disordered eating habits can appear to have a normal body weight, and function in society. Which is what I did, for a long time! I went through times where I would eat very little (this would last for months. I would also have episodes of disgusting, unhealthy binge eating where I would consume thousands of calories in a sitting... feelings of shame, guilt, and sadness would follow.

This post isn't a history of my past, but I wanted to provide a little background info. Last year at this time, I was still struggling, although definitely headed in the right direction. I was eating healthily, and training in the gym hard; the problem was, I was doing TOO much cardio, taking fat burners, and eating way too little! Also, I would take laxatives sometimes, thinking this would shrink my tummy! SMH! I desperately wanted to put muscle on my tiny frame; in my mind, I was the next Ava Cowan!

Here is what I looked like last spring:







Me, about a year later and looking MUCH healthier! 10 weeks out from
my first physique contest.


I'm far from perfect, and I still want to look like Ava- lol! I now realize that attaining that physique is a process, with ups and downs; highs and lows; and a path that must be followed. I'm no longer a slave to emotional eating. It's difficult, but worth it.

What do you all think? Has anyone out there struggled with an eating disorder, or are you now? How did you overcome it? I'm here for you, and you can e-mail me at BikiniAshley_62@yahoo.com! Tweet me also, at BikiniAshley_62.

For those who e-mailed, my contest prep team consists of the following kickass people:

IFBB Bikini Pro Tabitha Leandri is my mentor/ personal trainer! www.TabiFit.com Twitter: Tabitha2686

Nutrition and Diet Coaching: National Level NPC Top Bodybuilder PJ Braun www.PJBraun.com Twitter: BraunFitness

My home gym is Montanari Brothers Gold's Gym in New Haven, CT!!! (Twitter: JMont127) and Facebook, Golds Gym New Haven!)


A view of my abs, BEFORE training/nutrition entered my life:










Tummy NOW, 10 Weeks PreContest!!!



XOXO, BikiniAshley


"It's never too late to become what you could have been. So what are you waiting for?"
About this Entry
Apr. 14th, 2011 @ 12:26 am Spotlight on NPC Nationally Qualified Bikini Competitor...
Bianca Maresca! Follow Bianca as she preps for her biggest contest to date- the 2011 Jr. Nationals in Chicago.




Bianca on stage at the 2010 Team Universe! Orange "suits" her quite well! =)

Contest History: My first contest was the Bev Francis Atlantic States. I placed second in my class (Class A.) From that show, I competed in the NPC CT State Championships- sponsored by the Montanari Bros., owners of Gold's Gym New Haven, my home gym! I took home 1st place in Class A and also the overall. I finished out my 2010 competitive season by going to Team Universe; where I was hoping for my IFBB Pro Card. I took home 5th place in my class that night- (class C) so I'll be trying again this year for that pro card!

Stats:
Bianca is 5'3". Her offseason weight, she says, "is between 138-140. My contest weight is around 122-123. This year, I'm shooting for 120, though.Measurements? We'll check back later, as she says she hasn't done them since January!



Bianca, hitting a few warm-up poses backstage at the Bev Francis Atlantic States.

Loves to Train: Bianca looks forward to her leg days- she says, "I LOVE to train my legs- well, quads to be more specific. Leg day has always been one of my favorites because I feel strong when I do legs, and I feel I can really push myself! Plus, after I'm done, I love the feeling that I've had an amazing training session. I also LOVE training my abs."

But Not So Fond Of...
The petite bikini competitor laughs, "OK, so I know I said I LOVE to train legs...however, note that I specified QUADS. My LEAST favorite body part to work on is my hamstrings!
I hate training hams because, quite frankly, I think it's boring and tedious!!! I'm also not a big fan of training my calves either, for the same reason I don't like to do hamstrings." Ashley's Note: Bianca, I feel the same way! I thought I was the only one!!! =)

Speaking of Change...When asked what body part has changed the most since she started training, she answered, "It's somewhat hard to say what has changed the most, because I don't really notice any changes until I "lean out." (which is the case for..... um....... everyone, lol!!!) However, as I get leaner and leaner, I notice a lot more separation in my shoulders and biceps. Also... my hip abductors (aka "saddlebags") become a lot tighter. I really know I'm losing weight when the back of my arms and my upper back come down- I tend to "hold" there.



Bianca, and her coach/trainer, Dean Correia! He's also her boyfriend of over a year- he's a hottie, huh? ;)

Putting It All Together: For her prep this year, Bianca (or "Bink," as some of her close friends like to call her) began at 17 weeks out. She says, "I really want to bring in a tighter package than I did last year, so I gave myself some extra time. As of now, I am doing a "zig-zag menu."  Basically, this entails having a series of "low" and "high" days, adding more food to each high day. This menu works on a 7-day cycle. On days 1, 3, 5, and 7, I eat around 1100 calories. On days 2, 4, and 6, I eat 1200, 1300, and 1400 calories, respectively. So far, this diet has been going really well! I have been dieting for almost 8 weeks and I have consistently lost weight  without increasing my cardio or dropping my calories. 

As for training strategies for Jr. Nats, she says, "I am doing a full-body routine 3x a week; calves, abs, and lower back twice a week; and cardio, four times a week at thirty minutes a pop. The key to the full-body routine having success is to keep the intensity high and the pace consistent. The focus of my training right now is to burn calories while keeping my body tight. I love it because I don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get great results! Ashley's note: And isn't that what we all want? Fabulous!!! =)

Somebody To Lean On:
Getting ready to compete in a physique competition is definitely not a one-man show. Support is needed...  Bink tells us about hers. "My boyfriend, Dean Correia of DC Training, is also my coach. We have been working together since July of 2009, and, he has always brought me success! He is everything one needs in a coach: consistent, knowledgeable, and honest! Any sort of knowledge I have about nutrition and training is learned from him. He knows exactly what it takes to take someone’s physique to the “next” level. I trust him completely and know that if I listen to him, I will be successful! Plus, he has always been a great support system, both on and off stage."



Bianca and Dean taking a snooze after a long morning of prejuding at the Atlantic States.

Bink also credits her friend, Al Defrancesco, to helping her out a lot while she was getting ready to compete. "And of course, I have to show some love to the Montanari Brothers at Gold's Gym in New Haven, CT! Their gym is more than a gym... it's a home."

Bianca also plans on doing the 2011 Team Universe in July in New Jersey. She hopes to walk away from one of these shows with her IFBB Pro card, and I have very little doubt she'll accomplish just that.

Be on the lookout for my next spotlight, readers! Let me know what you think of this blog entry, and Bianca, at BikiniAshley_62@yahoo.com- I LOVE your feedback.

Follow Bianca on Twitter, @Btm025!!!

-XOXO, BikiniAshley

"Picture yourself winning. Success starts with a vivid picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be."






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