Are We Crazy?

From steak to swimsuit, we are using the power of a carnivore diet to do something that some might find a little crazy. We are refusing to age gracefully in silence. We have teamed up to bring our determination to the stage (literally). You may think that might be a good goal for someone younger with smoother skin and less stretch marks. Not us. We are empty nesters with grown children so we decided what better way to defy aging than to strut around on stage, wearing a few triangles and a spray on tan.

Age Doesn’t Define Us

We decided that age doesn’t, and shouldn’t define us. Age doesn’t have to dictate how we live or how we feel. Rather, age brings wisdom. We often wished we were as wise in our 20’s and 30’s as we are now. We have decided that pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone is just a mindset. At our age, wisdom brings confidence and courage. Therefore, we are maximizing this wisdom and courage to step outside the box and do the things that we have never done before. We are doing this with our heads held high, with no regrets and in very high heels.

From Steak to Swimsuits

How is steak going to help us get into those itty bitty bikinis? We are using the power of steak and the carnivore diet, to keep our hormones happy and to help us reach our goals. Traditionally at 50, our hormones start to go awry and muscle mass is even harder to attain. Common symptoms of menopause are increased fat mass and a decrease in muscle mass. This is not conducive to six pack abs. Even with that knowledge, we have seen amazing results in the past following a carnivore way of life.

The Power of a Carnivore Diet

Sandra and Steph both found the carnivore diet at different times and in different ways, but we have seen similar results. The brain fog and mood changes that accompany menopause dissipated with our carnivore way of life. Now, one of us will experience some hot flashes and/or sleep issues, but not much else. The diet helped stave off many of the negative effects of the hormone changes in our body. Because of this, we decided to take on the challenge of a bikini competition.

Eyes Wide Open

We have confidence in the carnivore diet and our nutrition to support us. That doesn’t mean we don’t have our reservations. We are nervous. The idea of parading around on a stage is flat out scary. Most people are afraid of being judged. We are planning to walk right out there wearing nothing but a tan, bling and triangles, for the sole purpose of being judged. Most of the time when we feel judged, it is just our imagination. When we walk on stage we will be judged by actual people who are going to score us on our bodies. If that’s not the epitome of intimidation, I’m not sure what is.

Because We Can

At this point you may be asking, “why in the world would you want to torture yourself like that?” Like Edmound Hillary once said when asked why he desired to climb Mount Everest, we do it because “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”. We are doing it because we want to prove to ourselves that we can. We have this idea of what our bodies can do with strength training and the carnivore diet. Dr. Shawn Baker and others are great examples of defying aging. Check out the stories at MeatRx to read about others successes with the carnivore way of eating.

This is our story and our adventure. If you would like to follow along on our bucket list journey as we don a bikini (triangles really) in our 50’s and compete in a bodybuilding bikini competition. From steak to swimsuit, we bring you 2 Carnivore Ladies!

#bikinicompetion #triangles #carnivorediet #zerocarb #yes2meat #meatheals #foxyladies #2carnivoreladies

Accountability

We have been toying with the idea of doing a bikini competition since we met on the Low Carb Cruise in 2019. With the new year upon us, we are suddenly faced with the reality of we need to “shit or get off the pot”, the reality of accountability. We must practice what we preach, after all. And we are women of our word. What started as “let’s do this for shits and giggles” has become a very serious undertaking.

New Year – New US

With the new year, came the realization that we are embarking on a physical and mental journey that we are going to be held accountable for. The excuses are over. It will take hard work and determination, mentally and physically. Not only will the workouts be hard, but we will have to be okay with revealing our vulnerabilities. But that’s why we started this in the first place.

The Challenge

We decided what better way to defy aging and use our well earned freedom and wisdom than to compete in a bikini competition while incorporating our carnivore lifestyle. Typically, training, or “prepping” is done by following a strict diet of carbs and protein with very little fat. You also eat 5 or 6 times a day. For us, the intention is to train for this competition while eating a carnivore diet. You might ask what is a carnivore diet? Well, this is a 100% animal protein diet with zero carbs. Our only vice? Coffee…because we are addicts. Challenged by our only crutch (caffeine addiction), we are venturing out on this journey together. Supporting each other and anyone else who wants to join us!

This is Scary Shit

The idea of doing something for ourselves that might help others, especially women suffering from hormonal imbalances or lack of confidence is our fuel. Yes, this started out as a moment of fun – as a possibility – but now we are ready for what is to come. Shits and Giggles…literally…bring it on!!!

Join Us

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life? This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU. Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else? Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Bring Home the Bacon – Cue the brainwashing

“I can bring home the bacon.
Fry it up in a pan.
And never let you forget you’re a man.” ~Enjoli Commercial 1979

Thank you Enjoli for helping to brainwash us as little girls into thinking we could do it all.

Our formative years were in the 1970s and 80s. Born on the tail end of the women’s liberation movement, we bought into the lyrics and the sentiment. We felt like we could have a career, a family, and hobbies while maintaining the perfect physique with our low-fat diets and aerobics classes.

Something’s Not Right

We went out and got careers and started families. Our reality turned out different from the commercial. We were lied to, we were told we could do it all, yet, somehow we just couldn’t accomplish all that was promised.  

Our homes were a mess, we were stressed and tired. We felt like we could never measure up to that Enjoli image. We felt like failures. Unrealistic expectations combined with the recommended high carbohydrate/low-fat diet left us a disaster.

Lessons Learned

Fast forward a few years, we are older, wiser, and carnivores. Lessons learned, we still like to think we can do it all but have enough experience to know that it is ok to say, ‘no’ sometimes, to have a little patience with ourselves, and we sure feel better without all the “healthy whole grains”. 

We are a couple of years into this carnivore journey. This way of eating has been a boon for our health and fitness. We also realize that it isn’t the panacea that we hoped for, we still got hot flashes.

Even with a few hiccups along the way, we feel better than we have in decades.

The Truth in Aging Gracefully

Here are a few truths that we have learned in our 50+ years that have helped us age gracefully.

  • We stick to meat, water, and sometimes coffee because it makes us feel the best.
  • Dairy may taste grand, but we are pretty sure it isn’t doing us any favors.
  • We have realistic expectations. Our hormones went wonky. We still have/had hot flashes and crepey skin.
  • Sugar substitutes don’t work for us. We tried them with poor results. Rebel Ice Cream is the devil. Just sayin’.
  • We accept ourselves as we are, we can’t go back in time and fix our mother’s nutrition, our inherited genes, or many less than optimal decisions we made in the past. Carpe Diem.
  • We have fallen off the wagon and we got back on. Feeling good trumps FOMO (fear of missing out) any day.
  • Occasionally, we need motivation, we read inspiring success stories on MeatRx or Zero Carb Zen

Keep Moving Forward

The carnivore way of eating doesn’t stop time, but it sure makes life pretty good while it ticks along.

Need Help?

Are you a carnivore lady who is struggling, we are happy to help?

Conveniently, Sandra and Steph are both coaches. Join our email list or work with me.

Finding the Fountain of Youth

Where did my youth go? For some, aging and wrinkles are a mere consequence of time and a life well-lived. For me, I am determined to remain a foxy lady and do my best to fight the wrath of time.

I am a 50 something, which some may regard as a  “mature” lady. Sometimes, I don’t feel as mature as my reflection. Take off the make-up, add some poor lighting with a rough day, and I clearly see the effects of father time.

Staying Young

Kitty Cat and a little botox
Time for a little botox…maybe

I am a sucker for eternal youth promised in creams, potions, and elixirs.  And anything from France (because they would know, right?). Looking back, I never appreciated my smooth skin and perky boobs and took it all for granted. Cosmetic surgery was for older people and I just assumed that I would sail through these years with ease, grace, and confidence. Fat chance.

Appreciating Youth When I Had It

I survived the 1980’s (miraculously) and emerged a responsible adult with “good genes” as I called it. I thought this was aging gracefully. Alas, 40 came (where did the time go?) and things definitely started shifting.

I remember looking at a selfie I had taken at 43 and the crepe skin on my neck and chest was undeniable. Initially, I blamed it on the lighting. How could this be happening to me? What happened to my graceful aging and nary a wrinkle?

My youth, where did it go?

Time to Turn Back the Clock

My arrogance at dismissing cosmetic surgery slowly turned into horror. I watched deep crevices form on my forehead and my pores became the size of craters. It was time. Now, I was willing to pay the price of injecting poison into my laugh lines, crow’s feet and whatever else I could zap with that miracle filler.

The Ketogenic Epiphany

When I first found keto and later carnivore, it gave me a spring in my step and a portion of my youth back. I have found the carnivore lifestyle to be healing and has made quite a difference in my skin. With my newfound vitality, the “other aspects” bothered me. I could no longer ignore the swift progress of lines and crevices and saggy eyelids.

First Stop, Plasma Skin Tightening

My first foray into anti-aging treatments was plasma skin tightening. No injections, just burning tiny little surface holes into my wrinkles. In my mind, it wasn’t as obvious as botox or fillers. Thus, it was (self) approved and ready for action.

Plasma skin tightening is the process of burning minute holes into your wrinkles, pulling them flat and stimulating collagen. It was not a pleasant experience.  And not the results I had envisioned. I needed my face to match my vibrant, youthful, happy go lucky, fly by the seat of her pants foxy girl again, damn it!

Next Stop, Botox

I was always very skeptical and suspicious of how botulism would ever make me look younger. What changed my mind was the results of a trusted friend. She didn’t look overdone, just….different, fresher and happy. With nothing to lose, I made an appointment with the lovely nurse lady. Little did I know, she was more than just a nurse, she literally helped women turn back the hands of time.

Explaining in great detail was paramount to getting the right results, I thought. My main concern, as I explained to her, was to look completely “natural”. “I’m different,” I said because I just wanted to take that rough edge off. I certainly didn’t want to look like I was void of any expression or emotion.  I just wanted my face to match my youthful energy.  

All it took was that one syringe of miracle toxin. When she handed me a mirror after my first treatment, I literally teared up. I saw for the first time in a very long time, that girl staring back at me. I could see her. And I didn’t look so mean anymore. I was softened and more vibrant. And boy, did it bring a lot of confidence back. 

Anti-Aging In Conclusion

The carnivore way of eating has done many great things for me. It has given me energy, clarity, and mental stability. Unfortunately, it can’t erase the ravages of time. Thankfully, I have found other options to take care of what the carnivore way of eating can’t. Some ladies embrace their laugh lines, wrinkles, and “fuck-you” lines. That’s not me. I want to age gracefully with smooth skin. 

Next up, regaining my perky boobs. No surgery. Instead, I am using exercise to change the way I look. Chest flys and chest presses are making all the difference in the world. Which is a welcome bonus on this bodybuilding adventure!

As a side note, the actual name of the bacteria is clostridium botulinu, which produces a toxin which of course we all know as BOTOX®

Sandra Bruand
Sandra Braund

Follow Our Adventure

Sandra started her ketogenic lifestyle two years ago which naturally morphed into the carnivore way of life.  Bodybuilding after 50 just seemed like the next step and the natural thing to take on for this rebellious nature. Because…… why not???

We want to share our journey with you.

  • Monday’s – Posting progress photos and sending them to our email list (because we are not ready to show the world our wrinkles and rolls but we will share our progress to our email list every Monday)
  • Thursdays – IG Live Q & A (that’s Instagram if your old school like Carnivore H)
  • Daily – Food and workout pics on FB and IG

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life?

This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU.

Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else?

Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Our latest posts…

Perspective on the COVID-19 Virus

Does it seem like the sky has fallen over the COVID-19 virus? It seems that life, as we know it, has come to a screeching halt over a microscopic organism.

I have been working on this post for a couple of days and apparently, Dr. Baker had the same idea.

Dr. Baker and I had the same idea.

The sky is falling but please keep eating your cupcakes!! Let’s mobilize the military and shut down the world to prevent some deaths but spend zero resources in preventing millions of deaths and suffering from preventable disease🤔

Dr. Shawn Baker

Crazy Times with COVID-19

Unless you live under a rock, you have heard of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It may have even impacted your life in some way. You may now work from home, or not work at all. Gyms and businesses are closed and communities are suffering.

Yes, this can be a scary time because of the nature of the virus, how contagious it is, and how deadly it is for people with preexisting conditions.

Outrage

If you, your loved ones, or your community have been impacted by the pandemic, it is very normal to be outraged. Especially considering how some of our public officials are handling the situation.

If you are in the keto/carnivore community, I would hope that you would have been outraged before now, and it is hitting a new crescendo.

In addition to the virus, here are some stats that should also get your blood boiling. Stats for the United States in 2019.

  • ~100 million are obese in the United States, many who follow the USDA guidelines
  • Almost 650,000 deaths from Heart Disease
  • Over 600,000 deaths in the United States from Cancer
  • Over 3000 people die from Asthma (keto/carnivore cured my asthma)
  • Deaths from the COVID-19 Virus
    • As of 3:00 pm PST – Deaths in the United States 696

Still a Big Deal

The number of deaths for the COVID-19 might not sound alarming, but they are still a matter of concern. The virus is very contagious and likely a death sentence for the elderly with preexisting conditions.

You may not die, but it may very likely kill people you love. My mom has a few chronic health issues. I would be in full panic mode if I found out that she contracted the virus.

Keto/Carnivore Will Not Protect You

If you are reading this blog, you likely follow a carnivore diet, or at least a keto diet. You may think that your diet and lifestyle may hedge your bets against the virus. Think again, carnivore peeps are still contracting the virus.

You may not suffer the worst-case scenario but you can still get sick. The account of the virus sounds pretty horrible for many people, even if they make a full recovery.

Post from the Women’s Carnivore Tribe on Facebook

What You Can and Do

Flatten the Curve
  • Flatten the Outbreak Curve
    • Isolate yourself – You can’t give or get the virus by yourself
    • Wash your hands
    • Don’t touch your face
  • Support your Immune System
    • Fuel your body – I am biased, but think Carnivore is BEST
    • Don’t drink – alcohol suppresses the immune system
    • Get rest
    • Move your body – No bike accidents please, that defeats the purpose

Economic Impact

You may have figured out by now that the pandemic is having a large scale economic impact on the United States and other parts of the world.

Here, in the United States, we don’t have universal health care. If the virus doesn’t kill you, getting your medical bill will make you seriously ill. The cost for one patient was $34,927.

Even if you have healthcare or insurance, times are still tough. I received a call from my bike shop yesterday that they are no longer giving bike team discounts because of the slowed traffic. The shop manager said we are just trying to stay afloat.

If There Were Only Someplace to Get Help?

With so much uncertainty, it would be nice if there were some organizations that would step in to ease people’s fears and help ease the financial burden of the economic impact from the pandemic.

Sandra and I said, “we don’t want to get political with our blog, we just want to support a carnivore lifestyle”. Well, I am going to get political.

There is, in fact, organizations that are supposed to support citizens, especially in times of crisis. It is called the government.

Most citizens do something in return for the assurance that we will be helped during trying times, it is called paying taxes. Now it the time to collect on those taxes. Time to put $$$ in the hands of the people, small business owners, and our medical professionals to help get through this together.

I can’t speak for other countries, but the United States government seemed to find $2 trillion to fight the Iraq war (still no weapons of mass destruction found), $1.5 trillion bailouts for bankers. Yet, they can’t seem to find the funds for small businesses and everyday citizens who are suffering.

There IS money for you and your community, but it takes a little effort. Become a squeaky wheel! In the US, there is no reason the Oil Industry should get help when everyday citizens do their party by staying home to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Summon Your Inner Jack Ass

At this point, you may be thinking, “why bother, no one will listen”. Your elected officials will listen if YOU and many others are consistent and persistent in calling, emailing and faxing your public officials.

Not the same situation, but I know the process works.

When I was a poor college student going to school on the GI Bill, I transferred from a university in Texas to a university in New Mexico. Lost in the shuffle was the transfer of my GI Bill benefits. It took many calls and letters but I eventually got my back pay and my benefits reinstated.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

What About Charities?

It is a fool’s errand if you think that some private entity or charity group will have the ways and means to make any sizable difference.

The book Winner’s Take All by Anand Giridharadas does a great job of highlighting how ineffective charities are at making the world a better place. I sure wouldn’t hold my breath that Jeff Bezos is going to swoop in a rescue small businesses and gig workers who are out of a job. He was asking his own employees at Whole Food to share their vacation time.

That is no private entity with the scale to help economy on the scale needed before economic impact his hits full force during this global pandemic.

Time to Collect

If you feel you or your community is suffering because of the COVID-19 virus, now, more than ever is your time to collect on all those years you have paid into taxes. Get the help you need for you and your community. Be loud and proud about what you want and why you want it.

Don’t feel limited by the COVID-19 virus, feel free to ask specifically what you would like to see from your public officials, and remind them often.

Contact your elected officials

  • Find your elected officials in the United States
  • Find your elected officials in Canada
  • Google your public officials in your country.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

Share your thoughts! Post in the comments or contact us.

Want to Know More?

Hi, My name is Stephanie Holbrook. My friend Sandra Braund And I decided to train for a bodybuilding show while following a carnivore way of eating.

This is our story and our adventure. About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old.

If you would like to follow along on our journey join our email list.

Sandra here and this is my menopause story. I’d like to share my experience with this bastard of a change. My intention is to lend support by sharing our individual experiences with this fucker. Please remember you may or may not encounter these unwanted side effects. And you may be able to get on with your sequel to youth perfectly intact – mentally and physically. Everyone is unique and will have a different experience. This is mine.

Denial is Not Just a River in Egypt

Totally in denial, I really thought I could outrun this bastard. In my late 40’s, I still wasn’t experiencing any real hot flashes or mood changes, per se, however if you talk to my husband, he may tell you a different story. Don’t talk to him. It was then that I also decided to undergo an endometrial ablation. This is the process where they cauterize the endometrium – the lining of your uterus. Before the procedure, I was so anemic from severe blood loss from heavy periods that I was passing out.

After the ablation, I felt I was back in control. Not only did I suddenly have instant birth control, I had a newfound confidence and thought I would prance into my 50’s with youth and vitality. Passing out from anemia and passing clots the size of livers was terrifying and I was relieved and thankful it was over. (Side note – I had to find a hospital that wouldn’t anesthetize me – a paranoid stipulation, but I actually did and the alternative cocktail was quite delightful!). So after all that, how could it get any worse? And really, how bad could this “menopause” be?? “I got this”, I said to myself. And then I turned 50.

The Muffin Top and Air Conditioning

It wasn’t until I started experiencing REAL hot flashes that I realized it was a real menopausibility that I was indeed changing. And the muffin top I always scoffed at (not gonna happen to me!) appeared overnight. Total flab spillage. I was horrified. And then depressed. And that’s when the AC stayed on 365 days a year.

It was hard to shake my depression. I stopped exercising and my body turned into something resembling an egg. With a chicken neck. And wrinkles. “Who is this old bag looking back at me in the mirror?” I often thought. Also, had my ability to sleep through the night disappeared somewhere alongside my youth???

HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy

My depression and anxiety resulted in me seeking anti-depressants from my doctor. I felt old, fat and was losing my hair. What I actually walked out with was HRT. I did not agree with HRT and knew of the cancer risks. But I was desperate and filled the prescription.

I started sleeping again. Through the night. My hair was fuller and no sudden, overwhelming feeling of body temperature fluctuation. And vaginal dryness was no longer. HRT restored my youth and happiness. For a very short period of time.

The Ketogenic Lifestyle

As I write this, I realize that I’ve always discredited HRT but I think it may have helped me discover the ketogenic lifestyle. And of course, Mikhaila Peterson. Here’s why:

  • Rubbing synthetic hormones on my skin always felt risky and a bit like Russian Roulette.
  • Although I wanted to stop using the medication, I also didn’t want to feel like crap again.
  • I needed to find a way to feel as good as I did when taking HRT but without the synthetic hormones. But how?
  • I didn’t want to be an old fat lady resigned to this “stage of my life”
  • I’m stubborn
  • I’m a rebel
  • I like controversial things

As life would have it, while at my crossroads with HRT and menopause, I stumbled across Mikhaila Peterson after hearing her father tearfully praise her for discovering that carbohydrates were killing her. It was a long process for her that consisted of eliminating all the foods from her diet, one by one. And documenting her results.

She finally came to the conclusion that beef, salt, and water was healing her arthritis, depression and autoimmune disorders. Well, this certainly sparked my curiosity and I became obsessed. I mean, how could someone reverse their health issues with beef and water? My mother always told me to eat bread with meat to help with digestion. So this went totally against everything I knew and had been told. I had to know more.

And that’s when I changed my dietary lifestyle and got my life back on May 8, 2018. My ketogenic lifestyle saved me. And I finally stopped taking my hormones. I will always credit Miss Peterson for telling her story.

I started to ask WHY

This fueled my obsession to find out more and ask why. For example, why wasn’t I told that just eliminating dairy could make a profound difference for me? I uncovered lies and hidden truths about nutrition and food. I also discovered the real truth behind sugar.

A great book to learn more about this silent but deadly poison is Pure White and Deadly by John Yudkin. Sugar is the leading cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. I was shocked to find it in so many of the foods I was eating.

It’s also cleverly disguised under different monikers so I was most likely consuming way more than I ever thought. But this was part of the deception. Nutrition labels can’t be trusted either, I discovered as they are not always factual. I felt betrayed by a system I trusted and realized I was addicted to sugar. I was being deceived by the man behind the curtain without even realizing it. But, alas, I digress. Back to menopause.

I Still Get Hot Flashes

So now that I’ve been in the state of nutritional ketosis for almost 2 years, being menopausal isn’t what it used to be. My depression has lifted, I like getting out of bed in the morning (bacon is a great motivator) and my head is clear. The fog has lifted.

Yes, I still get hot flashes sometimes but really only when I drink coffee (caffeine is a hormone disruptor) or have dairy. Truth be told, menopause was a bitch. But it forced me to change my dietary lifestyle so I’m grateful for that. I’m a fat burner, not a sugar burner. It’s incredible to wake up with clarity and vitality. It makes me feel like I’m 21 again, ready to take on the world!

With a little perseverance you can get things done, without the blind adherence that has conquered some.  So if you’re lost and on your own, you can never surrender.  And if your path won’t lead you home, you can never surrender.  And when the night is cold and dark… you can see light.  ‘Cause no one can take away your right to fight and to never surrender.”

– Corey Hart, 1985
Sandra Bruand
Sandra Braund

Sandra started her ketogenic lifestyle two years ago which naturally morphed into the carnivore way of life.  Bodybuilding after 50 just seemed like the next step and the natural thing to take on for this rebellious nature. Because…… why not???

Follow Our Adventure

We want to share our journey with you.

  • Monday’s – Posting progress photos and sending them to our email list (because we are not ready to show the world our wrinkles and rolls but we will share our progress to our email list every Monday)
  • Thursdays – IG Live Q & A (that’s Instagram if your old school like Carnivore H)
  • Daily – Food and workout pics on FB and IG

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life?

This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU.

Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else?

Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Our latest posts…

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom" - Aristotle

Discovery

I was asked recently about my daily routine and how it had changed with this bodybuilding adventure. I excitedly described the tracking of the macros, the weighing of the food, the daily weigh ins, etc, etc. The next question stopped me in my tracks. Actually, not the question itself, but my response TO the question. "Do you find it tedious", to which I replied "no", with no hesitation. I suddenly realized I had turned a corner. Without even knowing, my life had changed and had become all about bodybuilding, macros and the routine therein. In the blink of an eye. Now the intrigue was how did this happen, why and when? And thus, the dissection began.

In the Beginning

Looking back (and reading our early entries), we both can see that there was alot of fear surrounding this adventure. Hell bent and determined, we focused on this unfamiliar path only to discover far more than we ever anticipated. The physical challenge was expected. The psychological challenges were not. We were becoming physically stronger yet at the same time, becoming increasingly aware of our inner demons.

Flying the Coop

Let's take a step back for a moment.  Unresolved childhood trauma bears a heavy load and I pushed all of that waaaay down, especially when the children were born. Wanting to be the best parents that we could possibly be, our main focus and priority became the livelihood and well being of those wonderful souls.  Trauma was buried and memories were suppressed.

Fast forward 21 years. Finally having the time to enjoy our lives again, we started to do all the things WE wanted to do and picked up right where we left off, before kids.  Albeit a little worse for wear and slightly older but freedom was calling and the world was our oyster!

But wait. Why do I lack self confidence? Why does self doubt and anxiety plague my every move? I'm 53 for heaven's sake. I'm mature and have earned the right to be happy!

A Time to Heal

I can be so hard on myself when I start to have self doubt or nagging insecurities. Now that the focus has shifted, and I can concentrate on myself more, those unresolved issues have come back with a vengeance, demanding to be heard.  But I remain steadfast and I am preparing for some heavy duty battle.  Reminders from my husband about how hard I can be on myself helps ease that inner critic sometimes.  Support is important to me, but getting to the root of these issues is key.

Which brings us back to our bodybuilding competition. As we mentioned before, becoming physically stronger was a given. Having so much nagging self doubt and insecurities completely blindsided us. Having our inner demons show up to this party, at this stage of the game forced us to confront some issues sooner than later. Which really is a good thing.  Self improvement can be difficult but acceptance and inner peace gives us strength to overcome.

Strategies

I learned so much from creating my own personal strategies.  They helped me move forward.  Tracking macros, getting to the gym, writing in our journal was a routine I silently created to help keep me grounded. No longer a fear of implementing, I just did it. And tedious? No way. And that was the trigger that told me something positive had happened.

Full Circle

I feel like I have come full circle. What started on a whim between two friends, turned out to be a wondrous path to self discovery.  Achieving daily goals and seeing results feeds my self worth and sense of accomplishment. The beginning, the middle and the end are all part of this journey.  What we will learn along the way is a gift from the opportunity we've been given.  The road less traveled is not always marked with signs.  For us, it appeared as something obscure and unclear about it's direction.   We ventured down anyway and are finding our way, gaining muscle while we go!

"The unexamined life is not worth living" -Socrates

Sandra B.

Sandra started her ketogenic lifestyle two years ago which naturally morphed into the carnivore WOL.  Bodybuilding after 50 just seemed like the next step and the natural thing to take on for this rebellious nature. Because...... why not???

Parallels

Just as this new training has taught me to be mindful of my daily routine strategies, it has taught me to be mindful of my posture as well.

I know that I lift with my back so I’ve had to remain totally focused on the mind to muscle thing. Deadlifts take a long time for me because I am concentrating on my glutes and hamstrings otherwise my lower back will take over. I need to focus and plan that hip hinge before I descend into a sit position leveraging the weight into my heels.

Likewise, when I wake up in the morning, I remind myself about why I am up at this time, what I need to do next and where my reminders are. Otherwise my day will be spent all willy nilly. Now, we can’t have that, can we?

Let’s Talk About Posture

If you’re like me and your body suffers from imbalance or poor posture, it’s wise to hire a trainer. Lifting weights is great, but doing it incorrectly can lead to serious injury. The older we get, the more untreated issues can plague us especially the lower back, knees and hips.

Also, if we sit at a desk all day, chances are your back is giving you trouble already. For example, if you’ve been lacking in stretching or rolling your back or quads or anything that’s sore, those muscles are not going to behave favourably when you force them to contract as hard as they can.

Sandra's first attempt at a front squat.
This picture is a good depiction of how NOT to perform a front squat.

Don’t Go It Alone

Asking for help can make a big difference in your performance. If you are second guessing your form when you look in the mirror, chances are your doing it wrong.

Even if you work with a trainer once a week to work on your weak spots, it could make all the difference in the world. Getting someone to show you what you are doing wrong and how to do it right could be all that you need to strengthen your weaknesses.

Support

Having your partner in crime join you at the gym could be something the two of you enjoy and support each other with. Or, take some time out with your favourite gal pal and have a few laughs while your building that muscle. Also, make sure to bring your lifting belt. This is really important especially when you’re lifting in an upright position as it reduces stress on the lower back. Also, it prevents back hyperextensions when you’re performing overhead lifts.

Training Like A Champ

I’ve been lucky to find some great people to help me with my training adventure. As a result, I’m confident when I’m attempting things like squats because I know my form will be corrected instantly. It gives me strength and confidence to venture forth into this territory not yet explored. I know that every time I lift or squat, I am improving my posture.

Sandra with her trainer. Learning how to lift.
Sandra with Sherrill from Refine Fitness

Rocky Balboa

  • “If you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you?”
  • “Nobody owes nobody nothin’. You owe yourself”.

Follow Our Adventure

We want to share our journey with you.

  • Monday’s – Posting progress photos and sending them to our email list (because we are not ready to show the world our wrinkles and rolls but we will share our progress to our email list every Monday)
  • Thursdays – IG Live Q & A (that’s Instagram if your old school like Carnivore H)
  • Daily – Food and workout pics on FB and IG

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life?

This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU.

Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else?

Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Our latest posts…

Coffee and a Carnivore WOE
Are you carnivore? Do you drink coffee?

Finding Carnivore (with Coffee?)

I love coffee but when adapting to a carnivore diet, I had some concerns. Here is a review of my concerns, the good, the bad and the ugly of coffee within a carnivore way of life.

When I found out about the carnivore dietary lifestyle in 2015, I binge read the success stories on the Zero Carb Zen website, scoured the Principle Carnivora Facebook group, and read every line from My Zero Carb Life.

The first thing I thought was “I am in!” Then my next thought was, “what about coffee?” Have you heard the jingle, “the best part of waking up”? That’s me, and my relationship with coffee.

Training for this bikini competition has given me the focus of 100% carnivore, with the exception of java.

Mixed Messages of Coffee with Carnivore

If you scour coffee with carnivore in Facebook groups, you might be confused. There are comments that coffee is OK, it is horrible, or if you are having issues with carnivore, give it up today!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Coffee

Here is my take on whether that cup of java should be included in your carnivore way of eating.

The Good

  • Jumpstart Your Day – Caffeine boosts alertness and productivity. It has also been shown to boost athletic performance.
  • Makes Me Happy – More than one study has found that coffee improves mood.

The Bad

  • Not Carnivore – I would like to make coffee an honorary animal but alas it is not. Like all plants, they make their own chemicals to ward off predators (bugs). Caffeine is the plant’s natural pesticide. If you are ok with this (consuming pesticide), then coffee might be ok for you.
  • Not Necessary – Even though I may prefer coffee to most other things (I believe this is commonly referred to as an addiction), it is not essential to human health.

The Ugly

  • Too much of a good thing – Excessive amounts of caffeine mess up your brain chemicals. Long term coffee overuse can create imbalances in the neurotransmitter’s serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. This can lead to mood problems like low mild depression, low motivation, irritability, and impaired cognition.

The Verdict on Coffee with Carnivore

Coffee is neither a meat nor water. Therefore, with the carnivore way of life, it is best to avoid altogether. If you don’t have any issues that need to be addressed and coffee is your only vice then it is probably ok for you to consume.

Helpful Tips if Drinking Coffee while Carnivore: 

Limit your consumption. Drink water. Coffee is dehydrating so drink at least the same amount of water as your cup of java.

Make Good Choices With Coffee

If you are like me, and choose to indulge in coffee (at least for now), I recommend purchasing good quality coffee.

My bestie from high school owns Sunrise Espresso, a coffee shop in Silver City, New Mexico. She recommends Old Bisbee Roasters if you are in the United States.

Old Bisbee Roasters is concerned about good quality, tastes good and is processed without a bunch of chemicals.

In Canada, my fellow carnivore lady recommends:

I Luv Coffee Roasters or 23 Degrees Roastery both certified organic offering the best, rich tasting cuppa you’ll thoroughly enjoy. Highly recommended, eh?

Follow Our Adventure

We want to share our journey with you.

  • Monday’s – Posting progress photos and sending them to our email list (we are not ready to show the world our wrinkles and rolls but we will share our progress to our email list every Monday)
  • Thursdays – IG Live Q & A (that’s Instagram if your old school like Carnivore H)
  • Daily – Food and workout pics on FB and IG

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life?

This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU.

Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else?

Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Our latest posts…

Chaos has not been a friend to me in life. Training for this competition has brought me some clarity about chaos that I didn’t even realize existed before.

Some folks can manage their chaos with better planning, time management and a decent working memory (executive function). Developing these skills is critical for people like me – Carnivore B. Chaos naturally follows some people more than others, and I may possibly be the President of Chaos Everywhere.

Mental Chaos and Learning Disabilities

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. Growing up, kids that suffered from inattention or impulsiveness and general disorderly conduct were considered (and dismissed) as having behavioral problems, not learning issues.

Thankfully, times have changed, and recognizing this behavior can be a symptom of ADHD. Unfortunately, many of those kids grew into adults that were never diagnosed and/or treated. I believe adults like me would have benefited greatly by learning to adopt these skills earlier in life. I say this because I lack certain skills like planning, time management and definitely focus (squirrel).

Disney Movie UP, 2009

From Chaos to Order

From Chaos to Order

Tracking macros and creating a routine that I can follow is difficult for me. That involves planning and focus and usually numbers. All that just makes my head explode.

Let me explain. I am that person that “wings it” and thrives under pressure. My modus operandi (MO) is arriving out of breath and always late (but I have been told that it I am always worth the wait ;).

Bodybuilding – Path to Something New

This bodybuilding competition has given me yet another path to self discovery. It hasn’t been easy for me to remain consistent with my macros and fitness routine but thankfully, I am stubborn. And committed.

Trying something new provided an opportunity for me to re-examine my capabilities and create new strategies to get things done!

A Sticky Solution to Chaos

What helps me stay on task is….sticky notes. These sticky squares are the saviour of my day. They are everywhere. In addition, I have lists and and several agendas. Did I mention white boards? These are some of my strategies to help organize my chaos and keep me in line.

Looking Forward

Training for any type of bodybuilding competition offers certain promises, certain rewards. Focus, discipline, and the courage to walk across a stage in high heels and a bikini.

I never dreamed it would be so helpful in giving me the discipline to organize my life. I am already winning and I don’t even have a spray tan yet.

Follow Our Adventure

We want to share our journey with you.

  • Monday’s – Posting progress photos and sending them to our email list (we are not ready to show the world our wrinkles and rolls but we will share our progress to our email list every Monday)
  • Thursdays – IG Live Q & A (that’s Instagram if your old school like Carnivore H)
  • Daily – Food and workout pics on FB and IG

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life?

This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU.

Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else?

Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Our latest posts…

The training is tough, but the mental gain is where we are breaking ground. Carnivore B. and Carnivore H. are in week 3 and continue to share their strict training with the carnivore diet, macros and weekly workout plans.

We expected training to be tough but we didn’t anticipate the mental training involved. We are tackling our insecurities that have come into play since committing to this adventure.

The Mental Struggle

Although there have been gains and losses in our weight and improvement in our muscle tone, we still hear the nagging voices of “you’re ridiculous” or “you’ll never succeed” or “you’ll never look good enough”.

The end goal of walking across the stage in heels, at our age to be judged, dominates our daily thoughts and haunts us during our workouts. “You’ll never lift heavy enough to show any results” or “just give it up” or “you’re not fooling anyone” are just some of the many thoughts that torments us.

That and comparing ourselves to other, better fit females. We know better, we do, but it doesn’t stop the nagging voices in our heads.

The Inner Critic

Carnivore B. here – the mental game is real. Please, never judge a book by it’s cover. Simply, never judge anyone for you never know what their backstory is. I was told recently that my transformation wouldn’t be radical because I appear to be fairly thin. That affects me. And I’ll tell you why.

Our minds are powerful.

Not only do I see myself as old and dumpy, I’m not sure if I can get to the point of being good enough. And I just feel ugly. And that stems from struggles in childhood. It rears its ugly head especially now that I know I will be judged. The thoughts are demeaning and sometimes can stop me in my tracks.

I have to remind myself constantly where that all comes from and why we started this in the first place. Because we can. Plus, those thoughts are unfounded. We are healthy and able and there’s nothing stopping us. But that certainly doesn’t stop our inner critic, fighting us every step of the way.

Body Image Struggle

Body dysmorphia comes in all shapes and sizes and doesn’t occur in just the younger mindset. Carrying our insecurities about our bodies throughout life is REAL and it didn’t become so apparent until we started this journey together.

All of our notions about our flaws and obsessiveness of looking better or a certain way has certainly risen to the surface. Just posting those check in photos is a daunting task. However, it’s part of our commitment and we promised to follow through.

To be honest, I (Carnivore B) still haven’t sent a check in photo to our marvelous coach, The Keto Savage. Why? The short answer is I don’t want him to be exposed to my perceived travesty of the human body (sag, cellulite and dis-proportioned body).

Logically I shouldn’t be concerned, but mentally I feel it is my duty of someone my age to spare him from that image. So I am constantly avoiding it. Sound’s crazy, doesn’t it?

This is 50

This is 50

I entered the 50’s club way better than 40. I was confident and quite impressed that I had made it thus far. It was my dietary lifestyle that changed my way of thinking to “I can do this”.

It was turning 50 that made me question the next steps in the next 20 years. “That’s part of getting old” or “it’s old age” was unacceptable to me and I certainly wasn’t going to be someone sitting around watching the world go by. I wanted to thrive in this chapter.

Keto & Carnivore Saved Me

Becoming ketogenic completely changed my life. It’s a constant learning experience as I listen to what my body wants and needs. The next step was carnivore and then of course, this bodybuilding adventure. I have made the right decision with my dietary lifestyle to support the decisions I will make in the next 20 years.

A carnivore way of life has allowed me to take on challenges I didn’t think were possible before. This bodybuilding challenge being the first example. Nutritional ketosis gave us the ability to fight old age and given me the ability to take on the emotional and psychological trauma.

Transforming Inside and Out

This bikini competition training has given us an opportunity to confront our emotional and mental struggles. The challenge has exposed our insecurities and anxieties. We are weeding them out to resolve, conquer and become victorious over baggage we’ve carried into our 50’s. We will finally free ourselves to become ageless, inside and out.

Follow us on our adventure

We want to share our journey with you.

  • Monday’s – Posting progress photos and sending them to our email list (we are not ready to show the world our wrinkles and rolls but we will share our progress to our email list every Monday)
  • Thursdays – IG Live Q & A (that’s Instagram if your old school like Carnivore H)
  • Daily – Food and workout pics on FB and IG

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life?

This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU.

Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else?

Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Our latest posts…

Mission Possible
Mission Possible

Training for a bikini competition might seem like a Mission Impossible. It certainly did for us. Age, hormones and the girls heading south made it seem like an unattainable goal for these old bats. Daunting yes, but impossible? No. Did I mention that we’re stubborn too? We hired a coach, headed to the gym and threw some weight around. Crepey skin be gone. Bring on the triangles!

Our Mission

Simple. Train our bodies to look hottie hot with a spray on tan, stripper heels, sparkly triangles (barely) hiding our jiggly bits and over the top body bling. Ha! Not so simple we thought but why not? Our dietary lifestyle changed our lives and helped us become better with age. Let’s push the envelope even more because we can. We are on a mission to defy aging. The ketogenic lifestyle led us both down the road to carnivore and we are not aging gracefully – we are aging backwards. So why not strut this hot stuff out on stage? That’s what the kids are doing these days, why not us?

Mission Impossible Coach

But, let’s get to the scary part. This mission sure is SCARY, at least for us. Not only do we want to look amazing, we want to FEEL confident. Failure is not an option, neither is tripping over our 4 inch clear heels on stage. We needed guidance and support and someone who understood our WOL. That is why we hired Robert Sikes from Keto Savage. He is an excellent coach who is supportive and methodical. He also understands and creates our macros based on our carnivore lifestyle.

Mission Possible Report for Week One

Our diet and training started this week, January 20th, 2020. We are shooting for a goal (show) date of August 2020.

After week one we are on fire, literally. The increased fat and protein in our diet is definitely keeping us warm at night. Which is good for Carnivore B since she’s up where the igloos are. But seriously, the change in our macros, resulted in our bodies using alot more energy to break down our macronutrients which is also known as thermogenesis and the thermic effect of food. Now, because we started ketogenically oh so long ago, we understand this process but we had forgotten how it affects our bodies. Keto 101 – in the beginning, when you transition from the SAD diet to keto, your metabolism changes as you lower your carbs and increase your fat and protein. Some people might experience thermogenesis more than others. I suspect we do because thermogenesis + hot flashes = TOO HOT TO SLEEP.

Field Report

Carnivore B:

Getting to the gym wasn’t the hard part after all. It was the anticipation of not knowing whether these old bats could pull this thing off. And so far, so good.  Robert Sikes (aka Keto Savage) provides a different approach with his exercise program and an 8 day rotation (2 days off – yay!!)

My macros have changed too, ever so slightly. The protein has increased and fat decreased. Both by around 5g each.  I have lost ounces only at this point. That isn’t really an issue (yet) however I want to be able to wear sleeveless numbers NOW. These flappy bat wings are an embarrassment to slip dresses everywhere. 

Carnivore H:

I am a cyclist not a lifter, but I have to say it has been fun. There hasn’t been any ass to grass in a while (aka squats). Sitting on the toilet feels like a trust fall.

The diet has been interesting. Robert has me eating about 250 more calories than I am accustomed to. I started out the week at 1725 calories, 70 grams from protein, 145 grams from fat. I didn’t know what would happen.

The Keto Savage program macros initially caused me to gain a couple of pounds, but then I lost it at the end of the week. Starting on Sunday, Robert upped my fat and protein. This morning’s weight was 1.2 pounds heavier. It will interesting to see if I have a repeat of week one and end up lighter than I started.

Are you like me? Have you been brainwashed into thinking that if I ate more I would get fatter. Even though I know that my metabolim is regulated by hormones, I still had a hard time eating more.

I tried another keto strength training and diet program with “Keto” in their title, that had me eating much more protein and less fat. It wasn’t working for me, I was hungry all the time and miserable. I stopped the program at four weeks because it was not sustainable. So far I am feeling good and satiated on the Keto Savage program.

Follow Our Journey

We want to share our journey with you.

  • Monday’s – Posting progress photos and sending them to our email list (we are not ready to show the world our wrinkles and rolls but we will share our progress to our email list every Monday)
  • Thursdays – IG Live Q & A (that’s Instagram if your old school like Carnivore H)
  • Daily – Food and workout pics on FB and IG

About us, we are just like you, women who are struggling with aging, hormones, changing family dynamics and how it sucks to grow old. What are your fears and desires? Where do you want or need accountability in your life?

This could be anything including food addictions, maintaining consistency, time management, or just being accountable for YOU.

Have you forgotten about yourself after all these years while you’ve been taking care of everyone else? Stay in the loop. Join our email list. We will send you our progress and if you’d like, share your journey as well.

Our latest posts…