Today is my birthday. I am turning 35. WOW that’s like the age my mom was when I was in kindergarten. And here I am, no kids (yet), but I AM a mom to a very demanding child. No, it’s not Sir…
This past week, I realized that it’s actually the 10 year anniversary of my Bikini Competition! The decision to enter that competition changed me forever. You can read all about it in my IG post:
View this post on Instagram
I remember this so clearly: 10 years go, deciding to embark on a journey that I knew NOTHING about but was so excited to throw myself into fully – to test my limits and push my body to places it’s never been. I listened to my coach like it was the law and got results like I had never seen before. I mean, it was REALLY cool.
But I had no idea that competing would lead me down a path of disordered eating and body dysmorphia.
Recovery took several years. I threw away my scale. I didn’t count calories. I ate whatever I wanted. I did workouts that weren’t as intense but made me happy. I will be honest with you – I STRUGGLED seeing myself gain weight during this time, because it wasn’t just me trying to accept my new body. I was posting workout videos this whole recovery period, so people (and prominent video creators) were negatively commenting on my bigger body and questioning my expertise in the fitness space because of the weight gain. Externally, the body shaming was eating away at my confidence as a fitness instructor, and internally, I was surrounded by a toxic team at work, and that ate away at my confidence as a CEO. I was left with no backbone, no sense of self, suffered panic attacks, and could barely breathe anytime I walked into MY OWN office. I was breaking a part and felt like I had nothing left. I wanted to shut down POPFLEX and Blogilates forever.
But Sam told me to just give it one more chance.
After a weekend at a retreat, I realized how unhappy I was and knew I needed to make a change. That’s when I announced my 90 Day Journey. I decided to get in the best shape of my life mentally, physically, and emotionally REGARDLESS of what anyone else thought. I needed to find me again.
For 90 days, I allowed myself the flexibility and freedom to fail (meaning I gave myself the space to try things, and tweak if it wasn’t working) and honestly, that’s what made it so successful. From the heaviest I had ever been, I ended up losing around 20 lbs and shed all of the excess weight off of my body and the toxicity out of my life. The confidence I gained during my 90 day Journey leaked into all areas of my life. I attribute a lot of the success I have with my business today because of it.
Last week, when I put on that bikini again, it triggered something inside me.
I tried suppressing it, but it won’t go away. It’s this “unfinished business” feeling.
This feeling that even though I did my 8 weeks of hardcore training and made it on stage, I didn’t do it right for myself. Yes, I pushed my body and tested my limits, but to a point where I broke.
So here it is guys. Today, on my birthday, and on the 10 year anniversary of my bikini competition year, I am going to RECLAIM and RECTIFY my past.
Instead of training for a bikini and the judgement of others, I am going to train for strength and the judgement of myself.
Beginning tomorrow, January 17th, 2022 and ending on April 14th, 2022…
I am going to embark on a 90 Day Journey to Muscle.
I am going on a 90 Day Journey to Muscle to rectify my unhealthy past and get in the strongest shape of my life on MY terms.
Physically: I will focus on doing workouts and eating meals that will help me gain muscle and get stronger.
Mentally: I will focus on sleeping more to help decrease my stress levels.
Emotionally: I will journal my entire 90 Day Journey to Muscle and allow myself the freedom to fail, tweak, and try again.
My Starting Stats:
I decided to book an appointment for a Dexa Scan so I could get an accurate measurement of my starting stats. Muscle mass and body fat percentage are too hard to measure accurately at home. I will also scan again at Day 60 and for the final time at Day 90.
By the way, the last time I did this was 8 years ago, so you can see how my body has changed since then. My body fat is lower and my lean tissue has increased (mainly due to my first 90 Day Journey).
Currently my lean tissue is at 86 lbs and that is the MAIN number I plan to increase.
It is not about weight loss. It is about muscle gain!
I am not even concerned about my total weight at all, especially since muscle weighs more than fat. I do not have a fat % goal, but I do plan on seeing a lower fat tissue number given the workouts that I will be doing and the food I will be eating. Additionally, the lower the fat % the more muscle definition can be seen.
And before ANY journey, I love taking pics of exactly how I started so I can appreciate my progress. Here it is!
I am definitely starting at a more defined place than I was when I did my first bikini prep, and this time, I am giving myself 4 more weeks to do it. So, I am really curious to see where I will end up!
I have written my own personal workout plan for Phase 1 (Month 1) and am posting it here for accountability. It was so fun revisiting old gym routines I used to do!
I will be upping my protein intake to support muscle growth. Many sources, including my RD, Breanna, recommended around 1g of protein per lb of body weight for those looking to build muscle. Bodybuilding and physique competition sources recommended 1g – 1.5g per lb of body weight. At 122lbs, this puts me at 122g – 183g of protein intake daily. Knowing how my body reacted to excessive protein intake back in the day, I won’t go to the 183g level. But I also know that 122g will likely not be enough given that in the past, it’s been tough for me to build muscle. So, I’ll test out ~150g and about ~ 1,500 calories a day which keeps me full without feeling stuffed. I’ll tweak next week if I’m not feeling good.
Below is my meal plan for the first week of 12 weeks. Also posting here for accountability.
Note: This is my own personal meal plan based on my body, my needs, my taste preferences, my food intolerances and my goals. Do not follow this or any meal plan blindly without consulting your doctor or RD.
I will drink 1 gallon of water a day to ensure I stay hydrated and that my digestion is healthy.
I’ll fill up 2 of these POPFLEX 64 oz bottles a day with water and fruit for flavoring! BTW this exact bottle is 25% off today only for my bday, use code CASSEY25 so we can match
I will sleep 7-8 hours a day. And this is big for me – EVEN at the expense of working less. (I love what I do and am addicted to it!)
I met with my doctor to go over some of my labs last week, and it turns out that my lack of sleep is affecting my progesterone which is actually affecting my fertility too! That’s probably why Sam and I have been trying with no results!
Here’s a screenshot from one of my tests. The green is the healthy range of progesterone (6.0 ng/mL to 20.0 ng/mL) and I’m at the purple, at 0.4 ng/mL.
So, I vow to go upstairs and prepare for bed at 9pm, be in bed by 10pm, and be asleep by 10:30pm. I will rise at 6:30am which will give me 8 hours of sleep.
I will also try taking some sleep supplements like melatonin and/or magnesium to make me feel more rested. I don’t have bad sleep, but my issue is that my mind is always racing with so many ideas that it doesn’t want to go to sleep! This will be something totally new for me.
Oh and BONUS! Whenever I sleep more, I notice my digestion improving, so I am personally VERY excited about this.
I promise to reflect daily in my 90 Day Journal and keep meticulous track of everything that’s working, not working, and tweak accordingly.
I’m excited to use the Super 90 Day Journal for this journey because of the new spacious layout that gives me more room to write daily. It’ll be my first time embarking on a journey with the super! Oh and this journal is also 25% off today only for my bday. Use code CASSEY25.
Last words before embarking:
This new 90 Day Journey is selfishly for me, and me only.
Repeat. Me only.
I want to reclaim my unhealthy past, build muscle in a healthy way and this is how I am going to do it. I love challenges because I love the feeling of being focused with a structured plan and measurable goals. Some people will be upset (as they were last time), some will unfollow, and others will diagnose me with illnesses even though they know nothing about my medical history. I already know this is going to happen and I am prepared to deal with the negativity because again, this journey is for me, and me only.
I’m so excited about my 90 Day Journey to Muscle because it’s been a while since I’ve been super focused on myself, and I can’t wait to see where I am at in 90 days.
Oh – I’ll be back here tomorrow recapping my first day of meals and then once more at the end of the week recapping week 1 and sharing my week 2 meal plan (for accountability). I won’t be blogging every day for 90 days because not much will be changing daily and I am trying to sleep earlier…so that’ll help a ton