“Where do you workout?” * My First Bikini Competion

Recently I was out shopping with a girlfriend and we went to try on a few items.  The girl managing the dressing rooms, gestured for me to hand her the pieces I would be trying on. Then she asked for my name –  I guess that’s a thing everywhere now –

Sidenote: I don’t know how “Engrid” (pronounced ING-grid) sounds like “Andrea” just a pet peeve because that literally happens to me every time I have to introduce myself.

I come out of the changing room to show my friend the maxiskirt I had just tried on.

As I’m standing there waiting, the girl who was managing the dressing rooms asks me “where do you workout?”

As you might imagine, I was a little taken aback. I think she realized it was a bold question and went on to say “Well, cause I can just tell you workout”. I felt flattered but also admired her for being so forward to satisfy her curiosity. I was also unaware that I was such a blatant gym-rat.

This is something I  have started to experience with more frequency and honestly I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to it.  I find it’s difficult to see myself the way that others do.  My mind focuses on what I am most self-conscious about and it convinces me that, that is what everyone else also sees.  I am getting better at recognizing this discrepancy, however just like training in the gym to improve a movement pattern, it takes consistent practice to change this way of thinking and “re-wire” the thought pattern.

Three weeks ago I competed in my first ever NPC Bikini competition.  I have not discussed anything about this on my blog, but I have been posting about it on other social media platforms (mainly my Instagram and Facebook pages). I’ll admit it took a lot of courage for me to put myself out there on those platforms alone. I was worried about other people might think, or what they would say, or that it was weird to do bikini competition.


It was about three years ago that I went to support a friend who was competing in a show. I remember seeing the girls walking around super tan, heavily made up, looking like fitness magazine cover model’s.  I remember feeling judgmental and thinking I was in the midst of a weird cult. Why would you want to voluntarily put yourself  on a stage to be judged based on your appearance alone? But there was so much more to it, that I did not yet understand.

I have since realized that I need to live my life for myself and no one else. If I wanted to challenge myself to do a bikini competition…  I needed to let go of what people thought and go for it!  I have lIves too much of my life trying to do what I think other people expect of me. Like an uninvited guest at a party – that negative thinking just shows up. But instead of acknowledging the unwanted guest I’ve decided to carry on and enjoy my party. It’s not easy but I’m getting better at listening to my inner voice. Living my life for other people just made me miserable; I was anxious, empty, and exhausted.

Competing in this bikini competition was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life.  The preparation was a journey that helped me overcome a lot of personal fears. I had to let go of  comforting familiar routines.  I find so often, people do what they are comfortable with, because it is what they know and it’s scary to go into the unknown.

Doing something different makes you feel vulnerable, and I am no exception. It was a tremendous learning process to place myself in the position of my clients. I was on the other side of the fence. I always say,  “trainers also new trainers”. So when my trainer  James “Bobo” Eason challenged my habits I experienced the reluctance, the doubt, the uneasiness that goes along with that. He eased me into changing many of my habits. One being my cardio habit. Like many of my female clients I was convinced I had to do long bouts of intense cardio. Of course everyone is different but that is not what my body needed to be doing. I slowly tapered off to shorter, less intense cardio (AKA walking – which blew my mind).

My inner voice felt threatened and asked me things like “What if doing less cardio makes me fat?”

Simultaneously I gradually increased my caloric intake, which also made my old familiar routine feel threatened and uncomfortable. Granted everyone’s prep process is different because we are all unique individuals – but this was what I needed to be doing. I experienced first hand – eating more than I ever had – that my waistline actually shrunk and I was building muscle.


The photo on the left was when all I did was long duration cardio and light weights/ bodyweight exercises. I also ate what I like to refer to as the clique-what-girls-think-is-healthy-and-will-keep-them-skinny diet. I’m hesitant to even list the foods I was eating back then because I subscribe to the idea that there is no such thing as “BAD” food. Basically I just wasn’t eating enough and enough of the right balance of macro nutrients. I didn’t realize it at the time but by working out the way I was, I was actually inducing stress hormones. As a protective mechanism my body was storing all that it could because I was in such a deficit. In contrast the photo on the right is me eating nearly DOUBLE the amount calories per day, doing HALF the cardio I was before, and doing resistance training 5-6 days per week.

Like I said it was a process but the more I followed what he told me, the better I felt and looked.  Because I respect him my trust in what grew. I knew he had my best interest at heart. So when that noise came in my head, that I realistically knew made absolutely no sense, (but I wanted to listen to it –  because it is familiar and habit)… I would ask myself “Does Bobo really want to make me fat?”. The answer is obviously “no” he doesn’t want that for me! Bobo wasn’t secretly trying to sabotage me.  But my mind  can come up with all kinds of crazy scenarios.  I had to keep grounding myself through Bobo, who kept reassuring me that I was right on track. Although I am a certified personal trainer while I logically and realistically knows the scientific facts, it does not mean I am exempt from having illogical emotional “noise” seep into my mind. I walked away with first place in the novice division of my first ever NPC Bikini Competition. I am incredibly grateful to have experienced this journey it has helped me become a better trainer and learn how to honor myself.

bikini comp_7

My Favorite Things: April!


My Favorite Things: April

anthropologie ceramic fruit basket
Anthropologie Ceramic Fruit Basket:
This was a birthday gift from a friend and I’m obsessed with the both the color and the function of this dish!  I LOVE it! Also how pretty does it make the strawberries look? It’s so much prettier than a regular colander. I find myself buying things in the store and getting home and realizing it looked so much better before I bought it. not buyers remorse so much that it’s just like why can’t my whole house just look like anthropologie?

After Dinner Walks:
The weather has gotten nicer and it stays light long enough now! So after dinner my hubby and Iike to go on a little stroll. It might be just 20 minutes but I like catching up this way and even its just a short walk its a nice habit to get into when the weather starts getting nicer! And its always good to work towards that 10,000 steps a day.


My Birthday Surprise:
The night before my birthday my husband snuck out of bed after I was asleep and began to inflate balloons with a helium tank he had purchased (didn’t evenknow you could buy those!). Then proceeded to blow up about another 100 balloons to fill our kitchen floor with. I had to wake up early that morning for a training session and was completely surprised! Nothing says birthday more than a ridiculous amount of balloons everywhere!


Dinner at my Favorite Restaurant in town (The Lazy Goat):
We don’t eat out often but when we do I love to hit up my favorite tapas restaurant! Their Brussels sproats are my favvvvvorite – everytime I have them I literally sit there and close my eyes and savor each flavor! I can never get my Brussels like that at home – so I definitely “ratatouille” each bite 😉

The Fit Cast – Podcasts!
I recently discovered the FitCast and have been crushing episodes while I am on the stairmaster or while I am stretching/mobilizing! It’s all interviews of people within the fitness industry about topics I am uber interested in; strength training, nutrition information, training client advice – I am a nerd when it comes to this stuff! I seriously love it!

The Foam “Sock-Bun”
This thing has been a lifesaver! During the week I wake up between 4 – 5 AM to get to the gym and begin either my bootcamp or training session – so I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend on my hair! This has helped me look somewhat put-together (which is far better than my usual bedhead-frizzy-pony tail).

foam bun shaper

Favorite Blogs & Articles/Podcasts:

  • This Blogilates youtube video about body image – seriously brought tears to my eyes!
  • The Fit Cast – Podcasts
  • This CloudyApples youtube video about ‘How to Acheive Fitness Goals’ – love this video and all her entire channel for that matter! She has such a down-to-earn wholehearted approach to life that I am on board with!

Favorite Moments:

  • Having a friend text me a screenshot of one my instagram workouts and telling me that she had done it.
  • Starting a new routine of a super long weekly walk with a friend! The time seriously flies by and we really connect and share about so much. I always feel so close with her after we say goodbye. Its important to me to nurture those relationships I have with someone I connect with! I love how when we are talking – it never feels like there’s enough time – we both just have so much to share. I feel grateful for having someone in my life who is so real and just gets it!
  • Being told by one of my boot campers that her experience with me has been life changing. Seriously – I have the best job in the world!
  • Meeting the owner of a very upscale spa at a networking event and having one of those conversations where you stop noticing anything else in the room! She was a living breathing example of a women who empowers other women! I loved her!

I ❤ these Workout Tanks by Firedaughter Clothing!

Hi Everyone!

I stumbled across this shop on Etsy recently and loved it so much that I actually ordered one of these tanks as a birthday gift for someone! Samya is the shop owner and she’s a doll! I love her designs and the message they send.  I featured some of my personal favorites below (but she has tons more to choose from)! Also just as a disclaimer, I am not earning a dime from this promotion, I genuinely love her product and thought I would share : )

Check out more of Firedaughter Clothing designs at her Etsy shop!

How could you not want to break a sweat in one of these tanks!?

firedaughter clothing

1. Shine On

2. Eat Clean Train Dirty

3. Suck It Up

4. Work Out

5. Let’s Get Physical

6. Goal Digger


Restore Regimen for Sun-Damaged Hair

Hola amigos!

Summer weather means I’ve been spending more time outside! I can’t complain about that but I have noticed that my hair is in desperate need of repair! The increased sun exposure in combination with the heat damage from styling and overwashing has left my hair so dry and frizzy! I’ve been rockin headbands like no other…my hair is neither straight nor curly its in the middle…where I still have the pleasure of experiencing massive wispies and frizz (it’s been deemed “wispy nation”).

On a side note – I know you’re not supposed to wash your hair everyday – but what if I work out almost everyday? What’s a girl to do with sweaty gym hair? Not wash it?

Anyway back to business…after reading countless reviews of different products I decided to try the restore recovery regimen by Living proof® (I just happen to be somewhat obsessed with this companies products)! I am not being paid to promote this brand in anyway – I genuinely love it! First of all it smells amazing and their products truly work. The restore recovery regimen is supposed to be a 4 week treatment – where the product info suggests that you use one little tube 1x per week.

But I decided I’d get the most bang for my buck (the kit is $38.00) by using a small quarterish-sized amount every time I washed my hair (instead of using the whole tube all at once, one day a week). I’m happy to say that my little method seems to be working, and one little tube lasted me almost 2 weeks (using it every time I washed my hair)! I’ve just started my second tube so I’ll wait on posting a before and after pic!

I also like that this product is free of:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Dyes
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan