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Kristen Vidlak

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© Mark BradfieldColumnist (and now covergirl) Kristen Vidlak never ceases to impress.  One of our most talented contributors, she decided to forego the standard interview which we conduct with all of our covergirls and instead, share with us the entries from the pages of her journal which lead up to the day of her cover shoot.

She begins almost 2 months out and shows us that preparing for a photoshoot is not at all unlike preparing for a contest.  There are ups and there are downs.  Worth it?  You tell us.

Day 1:  The Commitment

In 8 weeks +2 days or 58 sleeps to be exact, a life long dream will become a reality. Training & Fitness Magazine, an online sensation has asked to shoot a cover with me!  From my teen age years I looked longingly at the news stands and wanted to someday be one of those girls.  I’m excited yet terrified!  8 weeks is that enough?  It’s holiday season I like my fair share of cheer!  I just came back from a week of Brazil and enjoyed every indulgence in sight!  Oh boy what have I done??

Day 2:  Priorities
I cancelled my girls weekend in Toronto.  I was really looking forward to this but it would involve copious amounts of wine and I have my work cut out for me.  Trying to tell myself there will be other nights, I don’t like to miss a good party but I have to keep my eye on the prize.  Have my share ladies, cheers!

I can’t pass this so it’s time to focus and get my butt in gear.  I am going to do this is a healthy way and want to portray health and balance not starvation.  This kid isn’t missing every holiday event up to this shoot but I will be selective.  It was going to be a day off but it’s time to get to the gym for a late night workout.  Let’s do this!

Day day 8:  Staying on Track

Halloween time; my fav party season.  I went to a theme party with friends and slowly sipped my 2 glasses of wine.  Everything in moderation.  Did I want to have a third?  Yes.  Did I eat too much Brie cheese?  Probably.  It tastes really good and back to the game plan tomorrow.

Day 16:  Countdown is on!

40 sleeps to go on the countdown.  I had a bunch of pickles olive and slated popcorn last night and I know it’s just water but I feel like a bolted marshmallow!  The big 4-0 really hit hard.  The joke with my training partner for my last show as we came closer was “plenty of time.”  I’m starting to think that the time is a ticking.  Little more strict with the diet and a tad more cardio.

Day 19:  Kick it up a Notch

This week I starting really gearing up the diet aspect.  I’ve been sticking to the same old thing for the last couple days and I’m not feeling as hot in the gym, I’m a tad hungry at night (not starving but I miss my beloved snacking routine on not just veggies) and I’ve said no to wine night.  It’s all about fine tuning. I’m going to add more carbs in the afternoon because it’s not worth feeling sluggish in the gym.

Day 28:  Tired and Busy
This is busy season with work.  I’m exhausted and I don’t want to go to the gym.  I’m going on my 4th night on the road and I’m starting to feel it.  Nutrition had been challenging given the rich cuisine at the evening events but I’ve managed to pass the dessert platter.  I have to go to the gym before going back to the hotel because once I lay on that bed it’s game over.  You feel good when you’re done, get going!

Day 29:  On the Road
I’m starving and am on the road home from a week away for work- 1 month out.  I have packaged shakes on my car but can’t do another one.  Wendy’s grilled chicken wrap it is!  I will prove you can do it without craziness and bare chicken breast and asparagus and obsession.  Taste amazing 😉

Day 40:  Feeling Down
I had an off weekend and am beating myself up about it.  I’m trying to think of what I would tell my friends and clients.. it would go something like this “you can’t change the past you can only control this moment forward.”  It’s true and I have 19 days left to work on.  Time to drop carbs, calories and up the workouts.  This is where the fun stops and the real works starts.  Positivity and attitude is everything and no use looking back.

Day 44:  Two Weeks Out
Well I took away the toast with my eggs for breakfast.  Times are tough.  At this point in the prep there is no messing around and it’s auto pilot.  There’s going to be some tiredness and tough workouts on low energy but I really did keep it as real as possible as I said I would do and his is really what makes or breaks it.

Day 51:  Single Digits
Oh boy now the real fun starts.  The sodium the water the cabs all come into play and with a work dinner next week and 4 days on the road this will get interesting.  It’s going to be special no sodium requests and lots of pee breaks en route.  I’m not going to be perfection but I’m hoping that’s well received.

Day 51:  One Week Out
This is where “healthy” gets lost and “crazy” gets subbed in.  I would give anything for a rum and eggnog but soon enough.

Day 55:  When the Going gets Tough…
I’m in the road this week staying in a hotel.  I was the annoying customer who ordered a sirloin no marinade no spices of any kind on a bed of Spinach with vegetables and oil/ vinegar.  After going over this 3 times I thought I would be good to go.  I timed my take out for when I was done at the gym knowing that I would be starving.  I got to the room and the steak was covered in spices (salt is a no no this week) and there was bacon, fried onions and cheese mixed throughout the salad.  I walked down and re-ordered.  Room service came and as I sat down with a smile, yet again bacon galore.  I couldn’t wait so I picked through the spinach leaves to sort out the bacon.  I empathize with people with allergies.  Coupes more.  Couple more.

Day 56:  Je suis Fatigue
I’m so tired.  I’ve felt good up to today but the low carbs is catching up.  This is mind over matter.  The food is easy at this point it’s just the low energy that’s tough to fight through.

Day 57:  Day Before
Well morning workout done.  If you’ve ever done a workout in a carb depleted state you will feel my pain.  I dropped everything this morning and tripped over anything I came across.  Just in auto pilot.  I’m feeling a tad shirt with people and wanted to tell “Mr. Middle of the Room side bends too much aftershave” this morning to get out of the way of my walking lunges!  Work shall be interesting today but I’m excited and focused.

Day 58:  It’s Go Time!
I am so dehydrated and carb depleted I hit a parked car on the way to the shoot!  In a frantic state it was great to arrive and see some familiar faces.  Hair, makeup, wardrobe discussions and negotiations and most importantly lights camera action.  It’s like a sport to be honest and the photographer is the coach.  There’s frames where you’re in the zone and others when you’re not and a good coach can read his athlete.

And Done!
The first thing I want is water and I want it yesterday!  I am so excited to relax and go out on the town after a great day.  A plate of nachos and a salty ceaser has my name on it.  Off to Costa Rica in the morning with another check off the bucket list.

Publisher/CEO at Training & Fitness Magazine. Fitness, Fashion & Beauty Photographer with a perfectionist complex.

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