I never stopped working out after being crowned Miss Illinois USA. However, I did let the healthy eating take a plunge for awhile. It was a much needed break over the holidays, and I don't regret it, per-say, but I do wish I was back at my "pageant" weight so I wouldn't be completely dreading the weeks to come. The stinky part is, what you eat contributes to about 80% of how your body looks, while working out, stress and rest make up the other 20%.
Anywho ... Toni and I have been working out like MAD. She's really been taking me to town in the weight room, and I've been kicking up the cardio like never before. It used to be that I'd run the same workout every day until I wanted to pull my hair out, but now I've learned that varying up my workouts produces MUCH better results. I've included stairs, inclines on the treadmill, track sprints, and even the pool. It's sooo great that this kind of cardio works, because it keeps me from getting bored too! However, with the busy-ness of various events that captivate my life, I can't keep up with the workouts as much as I would like. SOOOO, my mom had a revelation FOR me.
She said, "Ash, you can work for the rest of your life. You can only be at the Miss USA Pageant ONCE." She told me she doesn't want me to regret anything, and that by putting my full time job on a temporary hold, maybe I would be able to put 100% of my focus into this very important event in my life for the next 6 weeks until I leave. She's a smart lady, but boy was I nervous to talk to my boss. Talking to him could only result in two things ... either it would work out and I'd have an extra 50 hours in my week to focus on my goal and return to work on May 18th, or I would lose my job permanently. I had to take the chance. After all -- what adventurer doesn't take risks, right?!
It turns out, the people Robinson & Maites are even greater than I thought, and I always speak the world of them to begin with. They have been completely 100% understanding of this once in a lifetime opportunity and agree with my mom indefinitely. My boss has agreed to allow me to work remotely (from home) for the next 6 weeks leading up to my pageant, and to then take the to weeks while I'm in Vegas completely off from work. They have also said it is fine for me to return to work full time once the Miss USA pageant concludes, if I don't happen to move to NYC as the new Miss USA. They are absolutely wonderful, understanding people and I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a positive and supportive team. I want to give the world to them (aware that I owe them that much) when I return (if ... IF! I don't win!!!). But for now, I feel like 1000 pounds have been lifted from my shoulders because I have 6 weeks to focus on preparing for Miss USA. I can train harder at the gym, work on my walk, my interview, my wardrobe, and everything else I need to work on. And I can sleep. Sleep! It sounds slacker-ish, but it really is required to keep me sane!
I'm a very happy camper today. I just hope I reach my goal of making the top 15. Or better! Top 5! AH!! So excited!