So, What Happened?


Here it is August already. I know, you are reading this thinking, “Well, where have you been? Did you compete? What happened?” I did, in fact, compete. More on the results later.

I have been training… and eating… and building a house… and moving… I know, lame excuses. Some of you know that I write another blog relating to one of the other hats I wear—which is as an owner of Panaro Construction Inc. We are building our principal residence which is also our model home, the EverLife Design Home. You can check that out at

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But that is not this column and you are here to learn about my fitness adventure.



So, here are my starting pics from January. A picture tells a thousand words, and, truly, this says it all. While I am not grossly out of shape, I certainly do no look like someone who has been lifting weights and exercising for years, like I have been doing. This is where one of the key components of fitness comes in—and that is what you stick in your mouth. Diet is about 80 percent of your results. I have certainly learned this lesson the hard way.

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Dave Pulcinella, of Pulse Advanced Nutrition and Fitness Counseling, a/k/a my “Food Nazi,” made it clear that to compete, there could be no deviations from his prescribed diet and exercise regime. For working out—no problem. For the diet, well, hmmmm. I am a real foodie. I like to cook. I like to eat. I married an Italian who likes to eat (but not so much to cook). I like to experiment with new foods.

I religiously kept a journal of my daily exercise and diet, and, after the first few weeks, showed Dave my progress. He was not impressed. As a matter of fact, I think he threatened to fire me as a client if I didn’t get real, which meant eating the exact same food every day. Period. No substitutions, no deviations. Really. I was entitled one “cheat” meal per week. That was when I could have what I wanted. Otherwise, it was the same foods every day.

Now, keep in mind, I had a very specific goal—to compete. This is not the recommended regime for those seeking to just lose weight or generally shape up. This was to get on stage in a VERY SMALL BIKINI under VERY BRIGHT LIGHTS and be scrutinized for my shape. Dave was good about letting me have the foods I liked (such as broccoli, apples, and sweet potatoes), but it was still the same food every day.

This brings me back to my first blog posting about ORGANIZED and DISCIPLINED. In order to eat the proscribed foods at the right time in the right amounts, you must plan ahead, cook in batches, and pack EVERYTHING.

There is no going out to lunch and trying to order off a menu. There is no family function at which you do not show up with your own cooler. There is no hoping there will be adequate time to run errands and make it home in time to eat your next meal. You cook, pack and are prepared ALL OF THE TIME.

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You also haul your own water. Period. There is no “time off” from this sport, because it is all of your day. Your eating and training MUST happen if you want to compete. So, you learn the art of getting organized and living with a food routine.

Doesn’t this sound GREAT? LOL. Maybe not so much, but I had a goal, and I wanted it bad. So, after a few weeks of adjustment, I revealed my next journal update to Dave, who was much more pleased with my compliance and I started seeing real movement on the scale, and, more importantly, with the “Tale of the Tape.”

The next blog posting will talk about the “Tale of the Tape” in more detail. Those of you who like boxing (like my husband) will know what I mean. The Tale of the Tape is a much better measure of progress than a scale, which is a helpful tool, but is only one of three tools that should be used to measure progress. More on that later.



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