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Hey y’all! I hope you’re having a great week! As I’m preparing for my next competition, I’m also preparing for…. the beach! Whoo hoo! I am so excited to relax and get away for a few days. My parents and I will be headed to the beach just two days after the competition. I’m starting to gather up the clothes, beauty products, snacks, and other things I think I’ll need at the beach. I thought I’d share my personal favorites I’ll be packing, and some things you should remember to pack! I’m going to break it down into beauty, clothes, and healthy snacks. Let’s get started!

BEAUTY & SKINCARE| WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR FACE

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  • waterproof Mascara
    • any kind will do, but waterproof is a must for obvious reasons!
  •  tinted lip balm

 

CLOTHES | WHAT TO WEAR

  • white tee shirts
    • they go with everything from skirts to jean shorts. I love to get mine at Target.
  • jean shorts
  • white shorts
  • comfy shorts
  • wrap skirt
  • sun dress
  • t-shirt dress
  • off the shoulder top
  • floral top
  • tank tops
  • sweater
  • pj’s
  • undies
  • sandals
  • wedges
  • flip-flops for the beach
  • workout/running shoes if you plan on being active
  • workout clothes for hiking or outdoor activities
  • bikinis (i like to limit it to 2 or 3. It’s good to have options but you  don’t need to over pack)
  • one piece
  • baseball cap
  • sunhat
  • fun jewelry

HEALTH | WHAT TO SNACK ON

some of my favorite protein/energy bars:

other yummy snacks:

  • trail mix
  • rice cakes and travel packets of almond or peanut butter
  • travel packs or protein powder (great to mix in oatmeal at the hotel) I like these from PEScience.

OTHER THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • water bottle
    • I love Corkcicle because they keep your water ice cold for up to 24 hours!
  • sunglasses
  • beach bag
  • cross body bag
  • wristlet
  • reading for the beach – I’m taking a book and a few magazines!
  • your vitamins/supplements
  • cash for beach shops
  • extra sunscreen for your body
  • after burn sunscreen- I know you all wear sunscreen… but just in case!
  • camera – I’ll be bringing my cannon to get some quality shots and my polaroid for some fun snaps.

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I hope you all found this checklist helpful! Let me know what you’re beach (or pool) essentials are!
Stay happy and healthy.

xoxo,

Steph

show day

Hey guys! If you follow my fitness Instagram @stephbalanced_fit, then you’ve probably seen my journey of prepping for and competing in my first fitness competition. I haven’t been blogging lately, but I want to pick it back up and I thought I should start by updating you with all that’s going on! Also before we hop in – I may be changing my ftness Instagram to my main instagram and renaming it to match this blog. Let me know what you think.

You can watch my show day vlog here, too!

 

Let’s do a little recap on the competition!

My first competition was a few weeks ago, the Dexter Jackson Classic in Memphis, TN and I have another local show in a few weeks. Back in January I decided I would want to compete this summer, so I decided to do a 3 month “bulk” to put on the added muscle I would need before cutting (leaning out/losing body fat) for the show. I started prep in April, and prepped for about 14 weeks for this first show.

The competition was one of the most weekends of my life! The venue was beautiful and everyone running the show made it so enjoyable and as stress free as possible. Seeing 14 weeks of hard work come together on stage was so rewarding. I’ve found I have a true passion for this sport and it combines so many things I love.

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I ended up coming home with 3 trophies, which was I wasn’t expecting at all! I won True Novice, Teen, and placed 3rd in Open Class B. Words can’t explain how happy and grateful I was. After the show, I went out to celebrate with my dad and Hayden and we enjoyed a good burger, sweet potato fries and an amazing deep dish chocolate chip cookie skillet topped with ice cream. And we can’t forget the Gibson’s Red Velvet Donut Hayden had waiting for me when I got off stage. I enjoyed the next day and we went out for brunch, before hopping back on track for the next show. I’m currently 3 weeks out!

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I want to share a few things I’ve learned, observed and want to share with you all.

Competing definitley is not for everyone. It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice if you want to be successful. It can also trigger obsessive exercise and food behaviors for people that have a past of disordered eating. I honestly did not experience that during my prep, but it’s something to be aware of. I obviously had to meticulously track and weigh my food – but it’s for the purpose of the sport – not out of the obsession with food or the fear of gaining weight. There’s a big difference.

Another thing to remember is that getting stage lean, or getting abs – is not natural for your body. It’s a temporary state, and is NOT HEALTHY for a prolonged period of time. Being at such a lean state and in a calorie deficit does affect your hormones. Some are more affected by this than others- especially women. You absolutley need to put on some healthy body fat post show, and work closely with your coach to reverse diet properly. My coach, Paul Revelia has awesome information on his YouTube channel. You can check out his coaching offers at prophysique.com

I will do more posts on body fat, hormones and health very soon. 🙂 But overall, I think competing is amazing, but you have to do it for the right reasons.

Some things to remember if you’re considering competing:

  1. Getting stage lean will not and cannot fix: 1. un healthy body image 2. unhealthy relationships with food

2. People will not love you any more or any less if you compete.

3. Competing does not validate your fitness level.

4. Competing is very expensive. Don’t do it unless you know you have the money too or have saved for it.

5. During prep, it can easily take over your life and you will have to sacrifice certain things for a period of time.

6. If you don’t like structure, you’ll probably hate prep. If you like structure (like me) you’ll find it hard but still enjoy the process. Make sure you evaluate this before hand.

 

I hope you all found this post helpful, and let me know what else you’d like me to talk about! I’ll update you on my next show and also my post-show plans. 🙂

Stay happy and healthy.

xoxo,

Steph

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Hey beauties! Sorry it’s been so long! This past month I started college… starting with  move in day, freshman orientation week, an awesome orientation trip,  ending the first few week of classes, and now turning 19! Meanwhile, I had been practicing hours every day for a huge dance competition — Shirttails — that my college has for the freshman dorms every year. (sadly my dorm did not win.. but it was still so fun!) It’s been a lot. But amazing.

I wanted to write a quick post on what I’ve learned so far and also a quick update–  hopefully any other freshman can relate! Even though it’s barely been a month, and classes have not gotten over whelming YET – it’s still quite an adjustment from living at home.

That first week you’re just trying to take it all in and see this whole new world around you. My school has an entire week of orientation prior to upperclassman move-in day and the first week of classes. I literally had a meeting or activity every hour of the day. It seems like it would be a bit much… but they really force you to get to know the campus and your fellow class mates– which is good! I’m used to being an only child, so living in a dorm with tons of other girls is quite different. But I love it! I love my room mate, and we’ve made the most of making our tiny dorm feel like home.

Once classes start, reality hits you that it’s not summer anymore… all the free time you had is sadly no longer there. But the bright side is– college is so different than high school. Even though you’re crazy busy, you some how feel like you have time to do what ever you want. You have so much more control over the classes you take, and you can really study what you’re passionate about. My school, in particular, is a liberal arts college which encourages you to take classes in a variety of learning domains. For example– my major is Business Econ but I’m taking Spanish, Psych, and World Religions. They may not exactly go with my major, but they’ll make me a more well rounded, knowledgable person.

One of the biggest things I’ve experienced in college is dealing with stress. And no, I’m not more stressed– I’m less stressed. I know, I’m surprised too. Being the perfectionist that I am, I tend to overwhelm my self and therefore deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. I was worried that since I wouldn’t have time to really film YouTube videos and keep up with my blog, I would feel like I failed. Or that I needed to keep up. But, I actually don’t feel like that. I know that I am in college and my main focus should be that– college. Studying hard and having fun. I’m still here,  I’m still “Beauty and Bananas”, and I’m still going to be posting. It just may be a little less frequent. And thats okay.  I thought of what I would tell a friend that was stressed out or trying to live up to her high expectations. “Just let it go. Take life a day at a time. Don’t worry about being perfect.”

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Going along with “not trying to be perfect”, I’ve learned to just be as healthy as I can without being obsessive. Living a healthy lifestyle should not be stressful. Most college cafeterias have so many options now, that you eat fairly healthy. And indulge when you want to. I haven’t been working out quite as much as I did at home, but I’m staying very active with all the walking and golf practice.

I hope this post can be of some comfort to any freshman in college, or anyone in a “transition” period in their life. I’ll be back soon with some more beauty/health posts, but let me know what else you would like to see!

Stay happy and healthy.

xoxo,

Steph

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I can’t believe I leave for college in less than a month! Where has this summer gone?! I know many of you are also going off to college, so it’s time to start shopping and packing! I did a shopping list guide, but I wanted to follow it up with an actual packing list for specifically clothes and beauty. College dorms are small, so you want to pack wisely. You don’t need your entire wardrobe and makeup collection, but you will want options. I’ve put together a printable list, so you won’t forget anything you need! Let’s start checking it off! 😉

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POOLSIDE


Now that we’re in the heart of summer , you’re probably enjoying your days by the pool. Heres’ some of my essentials that will be sure to keep you protected, fueled, and in style from head to toe 😉


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