Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The official Goodbye

This will be the last post as far as this blog goes.  I haven't updated consistently for quite some time, especially since I've taken on competing. Overall, becoming a bikini competitor has changed me a LOT as a thinker, athlete, and person. My views are quite extreme, somewhat unhealthy, and do not align with the majority of fit-minded internet personas and such. On the opposite end of that extremity, I fully understand the whole "on vs offseason" dilemma. Since stepping off stage in late November, I've been mentally unstable and having a really hard time sticking to any type of healthy nutrition plan. I'm finally finding the balance after about 6 weeks of failure, and getting rested up to start prepping for the spring season. I am writing this post as a courtesy to those who follow me and as closure for the blog. I started this blog to fully embrace my newfound love for fitness and nutrition, and as it goes--all good things must come to an end. Maybe I'll launch a website in the future. But for now, I'm focusing on me, and taking on a few clients for 2013. If you're interested in keeping up with me, feel free to follow my instagram and/or twitter: @lizbrody is my name on both.
Thanks for reading.
Train hard!
Xoxo, Liz

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yes, Im alive!

So has it been an entire month since I've posted on my blog? Yeah. I've been in the mood to share a lot of thoughts and information about competing, dieting, and training, but have just been using other social media to do so. I don't know if I'll even continue writing this blog because I feel that blogging is sort of obsolete at this moment. Why write a blog when I could post an instagram and tag lots of things so that hundreds of people can see my tip/picture/thought INSTANTLY?
Also, I strive to share USEFUL and NEW information on this blog. At this point, there are so many well educated and dedicated people in the fitness industry publishing material on blogs or websites, that I feel like blogging is merely re-phrasing or translating into different terminology.
Competing takes a massive toll on the mind, and I was just really not able to wrap my head around giving any type of advice that wasn't competition related. To be honest, all I wanted to keep in my mind were semi dysfunctional thoughts to keep me on track with contest prep (ie: all veggies other than asparagus and green beans are evil, peanut butter will indeed kill me, must stay under x amount of calories and do x amount of cardio, etc.) Those are not thoughts that anyone who is NOT competing should ever think about. All vegetables deserve love and attention, peanut butter was indeed created to be eaten, most people should NOT worry about calories, and lifting and metabolic training trumps traditional cardio any day.
Since I am officially done competing for 2012, and don't have a specific date picked for my next show, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have no desire to binge on junk food like I wanted to after my last show (knowing I'd have to resume my competition death diet in a few days), I "snacked" last night and it was so WEIRD!! Fun, but I can see why I used to have such a hard time with my weight. I measured everything I snacked on (I'm still a nut job haha,) and wow, tablespoons of vegan chocolate chips, peanut butter, rice cakes, reduced fat banana chips, low sugar raspberry jam, and organic no salt pretzels add UP!!!! I strategically did snacking after a MAJOR back workout and sprint stepmill intervals AND an entirely clean day and post-workout meal...but wow major calories. I welcomed them :)
So I really am not positive if I will be blogging regularly now. I do get the itch to post, but not always the time or ability to collect my thoughts to do so.
Follow me on twitter @lizbrody and instagram @lizbrody for updates and tips, or just to stalk me like some people secretly like to :) I still have my passion for this fit lifestyle, and will continue busting my ass until I get where I want to be. Hows THAT for motivation ;)

Here's pics from my second show. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I don't think there's any need to say this but.....I ate a lot after my show. Well deserved. Ate whatever and didn't think about a calorie at all. Made myself SICK from eating so much LOL. But I did that with the full intent of juicing up and getting ready to have some solid training sessions.
Training with CARBS in my body has been AMAZING. Still doing cardio in the morning on an empty (but not THAT empty) stomach, and lifting later in the day. I'm tapering my carbs and calories each day, because I DO have a show in 3 weeks! My workouts have been INSANE, and I feel strong and energized in the gym. It's a feeling I didn't realize had been missing for so long! I trained legs today, it was my first leg day since my show. Last Tuesday, I almost cried trying to deadlift 95 pounds. I was so fatigued, had to take looong rests between sets , and my legs were shaking during squats and lunges.
Today, I warmed up by skipping steps on the stair monster for 5 minutes (level 8) to really activate that glute/ham area. Then, I was in all my squat rack glory!! Did Deads with everything from 45 to 135 pounds! In total, I did over 10 sets of deadlifts. Supersetted them with step-ups holding 20lb dumbbells and hanging leg raises. I was ON FIRE!! Felt SO good to feel the burn in my glutes with the energy to keep going. Did ALL of my favorite leg exercises, and didn't want to end my workout! 
KABOCHA, egg whites, cinnamon, nutmeg
Post-workout food: eggwhites and KABOCHA squash with cinnamon and nutemeg. lots of it. I'd been DYING to try kabocha for MONTHS, and finally got one yesterday, and ate it post-workout yesterday AND today. For those who are curious, it's a "Japanese Pumpkin" and is more or less just like any other winter squash variety. Higher in carbohydrates per serving than summer squash like zucchini. I am going to also make sure i do some running this week, since I haven't run in what feels like AGES because I had NO energy or patience for it towards the end of prep, and won't be in the mood to do it once I start depleting again for my next show.
Another essential boost for my workouts: LO CARB MONSTER. I swear the stuff is magic. This time around, I am NOT cutting it out until the week of my show. I see no need to live without it for so long when my diet and training is SO intensive and strict. I have been training like a beast, and am definitely not gaining much weight because of my intense training. I go back to crazy depletion monster next week, to make sure that I look fucking insane for my show on November 3rd. I know what it takes now, and what my body responds to, so I'm going EVEN harder than I did before, because I KNOW how to do it RIGHT! 
People who are NOT desperately trying to lean out or competing: CARBS are POWERFUL when utilized properly for your training. Strength and performance are greatly impacted by your nutrition, so please do not rob yourself of the benefits of carbs. Try some kabocha squash post-workout too :) 
It feels so good to be back!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


FINALLY, I GET TO WRITE ABOUT MY SHOW!!!! First of all, let me say that I am THRILLED that I fit into my suit, looked my best, and got on stage at a National Qualifier NPC show. I had SO much fun, and cannot wait to get back on stage on November 3rd. I put so much hard work into the show, so it was so rewarding to finally get on stage. I could NOT stop smiling during my posing and entire time standing on stage. There were only 2 classes at my show-Bikini A and Bikini B. I JUST made the shorty cutoff for the 5'3 and under. There were like 17 girls in my class---and only 5 PLACES?! When I got backstage, I was absolutely shocked and impressed by how amazing every competitor looked. Lean, gorgeous suits, hair, and tans all around. Very professional, tough competition. My goal was NEVER to compete for the purpose of winning a trophy worth $3. That is the WRONG mindset to have.I felt absolutely proud and content with the physique I presented to the judges, and I know what I want to work on to look better. For my next show, I want to come in HARDER, just a tad bit leaner. TIGHT. I felt a little bit flat because I barely ate the day before, and didnt drink or eat ANYTHING before pre-judging. No shocker that I felt a bit depleted. Through trial and error, I'll figure out what works best for me on show day. A few rice cakes might have been good for me. 
night show taken by VAL!!
We lined up for pre-judging, and one of the show directors instructed us how to do our model poses and transitions so that the photographer could get good photos of every competitor. I was FREEZING and SHAKING all morning---must have been nerves, because I was FINE the rest of the day! After I walked out for pre-judging, I waited for my number to be called. I didn't get first call outs. I was definitely expecting to be in the second callouts, but nope. I was in the last group, but I owned it, smiled at the judges, and did everything in my power to WORK IT!!! I didn't live on the elliptical and eat asparagus for the last 2 weeks to be upset with my CALLOUTS. From the beginning, I told myself to have NO expectations---not about first or last place. I did my best. I can TRULY say i hit my mark. I didnt' work with ANYONE. I am NOT part of a team (the team that SPONSORED the show.....no comment.) I am LIZ BRODY, trained by LIZ BRODY, diet monitored by LIZ BRODY, hair and makeup done by...LIZ BRODY. 

amazing mom after she did my final morning tan
But. I could NOT have gotten myself to the stage without SOME help. Support first and foremost comes from my mother. My mom is my biggest fan AND supporter. She puts up with my anal dieting and schedule, doesn't ask me to eat anything other than my veggies and protein, encourages me to do WHATEVER possible to be happy and accomplish my own goals. I couldn't do it without her.
TINA , my fit green goddess is like my fitness mom. She was a HUGE inspiration to me from the MOMENT i got hooked on working out, and is STILL a huge part of my fitness life. She has 2 children, works like a madwoman, and walks around in stage condition ALL YEAR--and doesn't compete! She truly walks the walk, and that is where I GOT IT FROM! You want to train people and tell them how to live healthily? You better do the same thing. She came over on a Friday night the night before the show, and tanned my naked body!! LMAO talk about love. AND she did a perfect job. On the morning of my show, she was texting me helpful tips to stay calm backstage, and dying for up to the minute info since she had to deal with CLIENTS and couldn't be there.
KELVIN: throughout my training, kelvin sent me all sorts of exercise tips to spice up my training and change my body. He sent me demo videos to show correct execution also. Not to mention, he is a good male cheerleader and motivator! Towards the end of my prep, I began training with him. He was responsible for getting my carb depleted body through my very LAST workout on thursday afternoon before show weekend. Major thanks to him for keeping the last and toughest weeks of prep intense and interesting.
TANNING TOUCH UPS!!! True friend there.
VAL: My girl val was my GO-TO for all things prep related. I texted her all the time since there are some things that NOBODY cares about, unless you've competed. Val did figure a while ago , and was totally with me in digital presence throughout my prep. We even trained with kelvin together! She also came ALL THE WAY to my show from manhattan. Like a 2hour commute on a Saturday--ONE WAY. She scheduled her entire weekend around being there to support me at my show. At night, she took my mom's backstage pass and helped to touch up my tan and hang out until I went on stage. She also took AWESOME pics when I was on stage. It felt great to hear her cheering my name when I was posing at finals. There is a bond that competitors share, regardless of how close friends you are, or how long you've known one another. There are just some things ONLY a competitor would understand or appreciate. So when Branch Warren came on to do guest posing at the evening show, Val and I were loving it! She also brought me the PERFECT post show snack AND gave me a shirt...like seriously?! Talk about amazing support and generosity. I WISH she'd compete again so that I could do the same for her.
All of my followers and online support: Your comments and tweets and likes keep me inspired and motivated to keep doing what I love. I know that regardless of if I place first or last,that you will all still follow me and encourage me to keep pushing towards my goals, and you guys give me the ability to remain 100% confident in the path I've chosen to follow. I know this lifestyle is for me. When I hear that my blog has helped anyone, or that my instagram photos motivate people to work out, I KNOW that my purpose is solidified.
After the show, I really wanted to stay to watch the men's bodybuilding routines, but being up since 5am...i was exhausted!!! And not to mention, ready to drink and eat.
Post-show food on the LONG ride home: fig bars that val brought me. They're like fig newtons but made from wheat bran.  SO GOOD. And I bought organic dark chocolate raisins. The bag was enough for 6 servings. Aka 1. Val took a very small handful. I came home to cupcakes made for me by my sister! And my dad spelled out my nickname "Goose" in M+Ms!!! I ate the gummy bears off the tops and had some m8ms too. All at like 11:30pm...not a good idea. Before I started dieting for my show, I never ever ate candy anyway, so my tummy didn't like all of the junk. Its noon on sunday, I'm laying on the couch NAUSEOUS and haven't eaten yet today. I didn't even think I ate that much, considering how starved I was.
Here are the photos I have so far. I will be updating more once muscular development and rx muscle update the gallery! Excited to do more competition recap and blogging!!! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

1 week left.

Next Saturday, October 13th. I'll be stepping on stage for the FIRST time as an NPC Bikini competitor. My show is a National Qualifier, so I'm expecting to share the stage with some amazing physiques. Like I've said before, I don't want to compete to win. I haven't put myself through all of these grueling workouts and bowls of green beans to get a $3 trophy. I am incredibly self-competitive, and am constantly setting goals for myself, only to conquer and progress. I made the absolute decision to compete back in May, initially committing to the NPC Eastern USA's on November 3rd. In June, I started thinking about it, and also decided to do this show on October 13th to get my feet wet. From that point on, my shows were on my mind. For the past month or so, my mind has been entirely consumed with my training and diet, and my dedication to presenting the best physique I can on stage.

This morning, I did my usual self-examination, and got a bit emotional, honestly. I might not look like Nathalia Melo, but in my opinion, I look DAMN good. I don't care that I carry too much muscle for the bikini division, or that my glutes still have a long way to go. It takes years to sculpt perfection, or anything close to that. The most important thing to me is the way I've been able to make HUGE CHANGES to my physique in the past 2-3 months. Not to mention, I did it WITHOUT starving, WITHOUT hours of cardio, WITHOUT fat burners. I've done this on my own, training how I WANT TO, doing enough cardio to get results without driving me crazy--until the past week..lol.

So, what changed at the very end? At 14 days out, I started getting in 45-50 minutes of cardio every morning at 7am, switched out green beans in favor of asparagus, and cut my broccoli by 1/2. I went to the gym every afternoon for either a weight training/circuit workout OR more cardio. I cut all artificial sweeteners from my diet--no more flavored seltzer water or protein powders or diet sodas or LO-CARB MONSTER.. 
I started taking 1teaspoon each of fish oil, flax oil, and evening primrose oil to help my dry skin and eczema--it was a GOOD choice. Keep those healthy omega fats in your diet and DO NOT cut them. cut something else, if you're prepping for a show or just trying to lose weight. After my show I'll increase to 2 teaspoons of each. Maybe a TABLESPOON..who knows.
Now, it's my final week. I am NOT doing any crazy depletion/salt reduction/water depletion. My diet is going to remain the same, except I'll be eating only asparagus as a veggie source. And less of it. A few days before the show, I'll eat pure pumpkin instead of oat bran, and lower my veggie intake. I'm still thinking about what I'm going to eat the day before the show to make sure I don't bloat, but don't look entirely flat. I will NOT be carb-loading. I'm not lean enough for that to really make a difference, and could potentially work AGAINST me. I figure that if I look pretty good now, If I keep up my cardio and fairly low carb intake, I'll be right where I need to be in a week. Personally, I'd rather look skinny than fluffy on stage.

No pictures until stage day. 
Can anyone guess what color my suit is?! 
I can't wait to update after my show!!! Follow me on twitter @lizbrody or on instagram: Lizbrody , to get up to date info and commentary :-) 

It's peak week and I'm ready to KILL IT! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Prioritizing. Do You?

Do you ever feel like your mind is scattered in 124015 places, there are lots of things you want to accomplish, but just don't know where to start? It happens to everyone at some point--DEFINITELY to me. When trying to change something about your lifestyle, or when you HAVE to change something about your routine, you MIGHT have to do some soul searching and be uncomfortable for a while. The key is to not be LOST forever. When you allow yourself to become overwhelmed by lofty goals, a packed schedule, deadlines, etc--it is nearly impossible to excel in any part of your life without losing sleep and going moderately insane.

Hear me out: I see "prioritizing" as a self to-do list. THINK about what is most important to you, as well as what is most crucial for stability. For example: you want to train for a figure competition, but you have just been assigned more shifts at work, and are taking some type of classes/school. While your heart might want to drop the classes and extra shifts to fit in more training and time for yourself, that might not be the most realistic option. In this instance, don't forget about any "friends" and family you might have that are KINDA a priority as well. Personally, that's what I choose to put at the bottom of my list--not the family really, but the whole social thing. Going out late, being exhausted at work and during your workouts, getting backed up on academics. Family will always understand, and if you live with family...I'm sure they see enough of you anyhow. Good friends should understand your crazy schedule too, but based on personal experience--most people aren't worth it. There are always, ALWAYS exceptions. Anyway, back to the priorities: WRITE down a daily routine, from the hour you wake up to the hour you are ready to go to bed. Chances are, out of the 7 days of the week, there is time for everything--even those friends some people insist on keeping around.

Allow yourself to BREATHE, and be somewhat flexible with your schedule. Your time and sanity is MOST important. Be selfish, but not close minded. Write down tasks that are non-negotiable (work, school, sleeping enough) THEN write down what YOU believe is non-negotiable (for me, workouts and down time to cook and such would go here). After doing this, consider where time-relative deadlines fall in, and schedule your personal non-negotiables around these. If you have a test on a Friday, then have to work for 6 hours--it might be wise to schedule a rest day, instead of stressing about  squeezing in a workout. Sometimes its actually better to have a lot on your plate when desperately trying to change your physique, because you don't have time to mess up or obsess!

Now, this is MY blog. So I'll admit how I view my priorities, and what gets the most effort from me:
1. Training for my show (and my health, otherwise) 
*time sensitive: NASM personal trainer exam in a week that I have to study for. This comes before school work, for this week*
2. Working
3. School (this gets as LITTLE effort as I can manage)
4. Family (I live with them, see them all the time, am very close with them...doesn't really require any effort)

The only person I need to prove anything to or impress is myself. If kids in my classes think I'm stupid, or professors think I don't care about my education, I don't give a FUCK! Yeah, I know it's not typical for a "fitness blogger" to say fuck. Hence why I am your resident blogger dashboard badass. School is way tougher this semester, even though I only take 2 classes and one is advanced poetry, but that doesn't mean I'm stressing over it.

I live for myself. I'm fortunate enough to have parents that ALLOW me to do just that. They won't let me drop out of school, but they support everything else I do, and my choice to not attend college full time to let me do some LIVING and be SANE. 

Dont get it twisted. If you have bills to pay or pressure from parents, you can't quit your job. you can't drop out of school to pursue fitness modeling. as I mentioned earlier...these things are concretely non-negotiable. Just things that stand in the way of us REALLY living life to the fullest. If you have some BEST friends that you are obsessed with (I hope you're like incredibly young if you feel this way,) you might have to put off workouts to have movie night or club night with your friends.

Anyhow. These were my thoughts during my 7am cardio session this morning that have now become a blog. Training hams and glutes later. Here's a snapshot of me training at BODYSPACE fitness in NYC with Kelvin Gary 

Aaaand here's a pic I took yesterday. SHOW IS SO CLOSE 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

2 weeks out: AU NATURALE

The title of this post is a hint at what I'm changing about my diet for the last 2 weeks of prep before my first show! I've made the decision to cut out my beloved monster until i step off stage. Don't get me wrong, I will .. repeat WILL drink one AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after my show. I'm removing everything artificial from my diet to make sure there is NOTHING standing in the way of looking MY best on stage. Since I pretty much eat 100% natural otherwise, monster, flavored seltzer water, and sugarfree gum are the only vices I have. Oh, and my all-natural protein powder, but that has some shit in it. So I'm bidding good bye to it. I will chew gum to help hunger until a couple of days before the show. Sorry in advance for anything I might say/tweet/do in this process.....*mom*

I'm ALSO cutting out these artificial things in hopes that it will help my eczema to heal. Yes, I have a slight eczema problem, which I've done ENDLESS research about, seen dermos, been prescribed corticosteroid creams that i REFUSE to poison myself with. Lots of things contribute to flare-ups, but my issue is that it is on the right side of my FACE! It recently got SO bad because I cut my fish oil OUT of my diet because of the fat content. Okay, that wasn't smart, in hindsight. Removing omega 3 fatty acids from my diet caused everything to DRY out...making me realize that YES, it is true---fish oil works wonders. Not only did I reintroduce fish oil, I introduced flax oil, evening primrose oil, and biotin. Taking those EVERY DAY. only a teaspoon of each has definitely helped in just a couple of days! After my show, I will obviously increase the dosage without worrying about the fats I'm adding.
Here's a supplement plug: TAKE FISH OIL, PLEASE!!!! In the oil form if you can--I use Carlson's fish oil, in lemon or orange flavor. They actually taste good, and no "fish burp" after effect...yikes. Flax oil is another source of omegas. Evening primrose is specifically for help with skin repair! Biotin helps skin, hair, and nails, and is a capsule.

Anyway. 2 weeks, and my stage bikini is still digging in my hips, and I REFUSE to have a rhinestone muffin top on stage. So, I'm making a little alteration to my diet and cardio, just reducing my carbs by a little, eating asparagus and egg whites and chicken. Green beans after a workout. Also thinking about cutting oat bran and replacing it with canned pumpkin, for both carb reasons AND eczema. Grains might contribute to certain skin conditions, so going completely hypo-allergenic could definitely help! 

I will continue to do high intensity cardio, not chilling on the elliptical for 2 hours a day with no resistance. I do use the elliptical certain days, because it is no impact and enables me to get my sweat on and burn the extra calories. For the last 10 weeks, I've been focusing on making sure I get visibly LEANER, steadily. Now, I know I have to drop inches and pounds to look tight on stage in my suit. I'm ready, and I WILL be unstoppable for the next 2 weeks. I WILL go to sleep earlier to wake up early for cardio. I will not eat anything extra, besides what is ON my plan. 

No, I am NOT doing this for you. Not for NPC judges. This is for ME. I want to be PROUD the minute I wake up on show day with the package I am bringing. I am my own competition. There might be amazing, cut, lean, beautiful girls on stage competing against me. But after the show, I might not see them ever again. I don't CARE about them, or if they place better than me. It's about ME! My goal was not to be  115 pounds or 10% bodyfat or  to have 34 inch hips. My goal from the start was to look my best on stage. To be well conditioned and tight. Not to look starved and dieted and cardio-ed down. To look perfect in my suit. For the past months, I've been visualizing myself posing on stage, smiling, and confident with my physique. I know the feeling I need to have in order to get my abs looking flat and waist tiny on stage. I should feel depleted and emptied out, running on adrenaline from being on stage. I just lit a major fire under my own ass to hustle and kill it for the next 2 weeks so that I know I gave 100% effort. I want to be proud of the pictures that go up on the internet so that I can plaster them on every post and tweet I write. 

With all of this said, I'm off to do my Saturday workout. Tomorrow is my LAST rest day until the Friday before my show. Thats a LOT of gym time to make the most of. And believe me, i WILL make the most of every single gym session to look contest ready. 

OH, its national coffee day. DRINK UP!!!!! Enjoy some lo-carb monster for me too....