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May 2, 2016
by Shalama Jackson
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Let’s pose: Preparing to take the stage

Adding some sass to my bikini posing routine for the stagePractice. Practice. Practice. Posing is turning out to be one of the toughest things for me during this prep cycle.

Just when I thought I was getting the hang of things, it seems as if posing is trying to trip me up.

I have decided to switch to the bikini division instead of competing in figure again. It’s exciting but it is also something I have to work on more than I thought initially. This division is great for me in part because I was having some trouble gaining the amount of muscle to be competitive in figure. And to be honest, I also didn’t want to have to eat more than I was at the beginning of this prep.

And while I love the body of a figure competitor, I am not ready to push my body there at this moment. However, it’s said that the judges will focus on overall shape and conditioning in bikini and put less emphasis on the muscularity that is found in figure.

Posing is the art of hiding your flaws

The posing isn’t easy. When posing, the goal is to show your strengths and hide your weaknesses or lacking areas.

finishing my bikini posing routine with a little curtseyI am in the process of becoming comfortable with myself and my body while working on learning what angles look good.

I am also working with my coach, Bernita, and practicing in front of a mirror so I can get used to the feeling of holding each pose. I practice nearly every day as well as a weekly posing session with my coach. And heck, the more you do it the more it becomes familiar to you.

What do you practice? What are you working to improve?

April 30, 2016
by Shalama Jackson
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Did you say pancakes?

egg white oatmeal protein pancakesWhile I absolutely love pancakes, I am unable to have the pancakes that I whip up for my lil man. However, I found a way to take my first meal ingredients to create egg white oatmeal protein pancakes. They’re definitely not hard to make, which is great because I was beat after running with the girls this morning.

I had my morning check-in of pics with my coach yesterday and although she is happy and think I am on schedule for a June competition, I still see the work that needs to be done. So, a good four mile run was needed. I put in the work for fasted cardio and now I can really enjoy these pancakes.

4 miles fasted morning cardio to kick off the weekendIf you are like me and can’t enjoy buttermilk pancakes for the moment, you might want to try my breakfast recipe a try.

The new cycle of my meal plan called for a medium carb day. And because Eboni has been bragging about her pancakes, I figured I would do the same instead of my traditional oatmeal with blueberries and egg scramble.

egg white oatmeal pancake ingredients

If you like protein pancakes or if you’re looking for a protein pancake recipe that doesn’t include dairy or protein powder, I say give it a shot.

Egg White Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 packet Stevia or Stevia drops
  • Cinnamon to taste

Directions

  • Spray pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium high heat
  • Stir all ingredients together until combined and pour in pan
  • When the pancake begins to turn white and the edges of the pancake begins to harden, flip and cook for another minute
  • Top with syrup, nut butter or fresh fruit. I used Walden Farms syrup and blueberries.

Do you like protein pancakes? What is your favorite way to make them?

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April 21, 2016
by Shalama Jackson
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Did she say twice a day?

You have to be creative when you have to get in cardio twice a dayLast week I mentioned that I have added morning cardio. Well, on Sunday my coach has upped the ante again to cardio twice a day.

Yes, you read that right. I am to incorporate two 30-minute cardio sessions four times a week. So, the first one happens at 5 a.m. This week I have done a combination of treadmill inclines, the stepmill and incline intervals with jumping rope. I’m on Day 3 and tired. My drive for a great presentation on show day is extremely important.

The second one has typically been at lunch. It’s been pretty easy to slide it in so far.

Because once this week wasn’t enough

A photo posted by Shalama Jackson (@shalamajackson) on

I have been taking to running on the river, which is just a few blocks away from the office. I run out about 15 minutes and then turn around to come on back. The distance varies each time. I’ve done run/walk intervals, a steady jog and run/sprint intervals. The goal is to get in the time and burn some calories.

Getting up for morning cardio is difficult but I know what the end goal is stepping on stage in June. So, if she calls for cardio twice a day, twice a day it is.

What are you willing to do to achieve your goal?

April 17, 2016
by Shalama Jackson
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Bikram yoga etiquette

Sweat it out. There is definite etiquette to follow when it comes to Bikram yoga.I am almost to the end of 30-day of Bikram yoga bundle. I plan on doing it again after a couple weeks off. I have learned a lot including there is an etiquette that must be followed when you attend a Bikram yoga class.

Etiquette for Bikram yoga:

  • Take your shoes off at the door; cubby holes are usually provided for your shoes. Shoes are not allowed in the yoga room.
  • The yoga room is silent, except for the instructor, who will guide you through the class.
  • When you lay your mat down in the room, there should be three rows of participants. If the studio offers different colored carpeting stripes in their yoga room, technically your mat should be centered over that line, facing the mirrored front of the room.
  • As you lay your mat, do not directly block anyone’s view into the mirror. Arrange your mat so anyone behind you can still see themselves in the mirror. Sometimes when classes are really crowded, this is next to impossible with three rows, but do try to be conscientious.
  • Keep your water and extra towels close to your mat.
  • Make sure to give your fellow yogis next to you enough space so that they can stretch their arms out to the side without bumping into you. This cannot always be avoided in crowded classes. In this case, move your mat up or back a little bit to give each other room, but still stay on the line.
  • When class is over exit quietly, distraction-free. Many remain after to meditate.
  • Your first water break will be announced by the instructor. Do not drink any water until this time, as your body is warming up. You are free after this point to drink your water when you choose.
  • If you need a break, you are free to sit down during the standing series, but keep your head up above your shoulders. If you need a break during the floor series, remain in savasana.

Remember to have fun and enjoy it!

Have you ever taken a Bikram yoga class? Have you ever taken any yoga or Pilates classes?