Not just another fitness and nutrition site


Living Art – A Work in Progress!

A few weeks ago, after I posted about my results from my last show, I got some good feedback about what I was doing, right and wrong. I always love to get feedback in my quest to achieve any goal, because it can only help me. Even negative feedback makes me sometimes think “screw you!”, and then I just try harder. However, there was a certain piece of advice that really stuck with me. Thanks Pete!

What my older, wiser brother told me to do was to remember the old saying about how success leaves clues, and to follow the clues that successful people leave behind. He told me to keep my eyes and heart open to self-analysis of the things I am doing to be the best I can be! And of course, he then says…”time to grow!” Well, because of my engineering and financial background, the word analysis really got me excited (yeah, yeah I know, I’m kind of a nerd) and I decided to take this to the next level. This analysis is beyond calculating and manipulating protein, carb, and fat ratios for nutrition on Excel and calculating weekly mileages and average paces for training. It goes beyond looking in the mirror and at photos and asking what my weak spots are…

While I was waiting for my largest meal of the day to digest before going for a long run, which is oatmeal at breakfast time, I combined my scientific background with my love and eye for art and beauty, and have created what I call… “Paulina Carla Living Art – A Work in Progress!” It is a photo analysis where I have overlaid photos of a previous NPC bikini champion that I deemed successful onto my photo from my last show. I then drew on my photo the areas that I needed to improve in order to reach my own masterpiece! Note, this look can only be achieve through diet and exercise….NO surgical help!! Lol. Then I removed the overlaid photo and voila! Aside from realizing that there are two major round things missing from my living art, I can see more clearly the areas that I need to target.

I am not sure if this is what my brother meant by stealing clues and self-analysis, but I thought it was kind of funny! And believe it or not, I accomplished all of this on my IPad! Thanks Apple!

Note: this is only the front for now, back is for another day…or never!



Inspiring Strangers

While running on the treadmill at the gym, as part of my “that girl’s crazy” workout, an older woman started on the treadmill next to me. I had the setting on at 9 mph and was very much in my zone, making sure not be distracted by anyone working out near me. For some reason I had a lot of energy that morning (probably from enjoying a couple days off from the gym and my favorite Starbucks iced americano at breakfast), and found myself running at 7 min/mile pace for several minutes very easily. As a runner that had to run 10 marathons in order to qualify for the Boston marathon, that is fast for me and I was kind of proud! Well in the midst of my runner’s high, this woman next to me stuck her hand over to my treadmill and pointed at my time. I was kind of annoyed for being disturbed and grunted a “what?!” and she just smiled and gave me a thumbs up (and yes, I did feel bad for being a little mean).

Later, after my workout she approached me as I rinsed off my face, all messy and dripping with sweat. She said she loved running next to me and was so motivated that instead of stopping as she initially planned, she continued her workout and kept on going. I was kind of surprised but I thought that was really cool! In the midst of what was a great workout for ME, and where all my intentions were selfish, I had actually impacted someone else in a positive way!

And strange enough, a similar thing happened several days later. I was running along a walkway at the beach, when I decided to work on my stairmill skills outside. There are many stairs leading up and down the walkway to the beach that I decided to run up as fast as I could (plus I had a good fast song playing on my iPod). Darting in between surfers coming down with their big boards and kids playing around, I skipped, jumped, and high kneed my way to the top when I noticed a woman sitting at the top of the stairs watching me. At first, I was annoyed, wondering what the heck this lady was staring at! But I just decided to ignore her and not let her distract me from my mission of sprinting to the top. Of course, when I got to the top I could still feel her eyes on me, so I looked over and she gave me a big grin and two thumbs up.

Now, I don’t know what was up with the thumbs up that week, maybe I was training like a maniac for my upcoming show and people could see it?? But, either way, it made me a lot more aware than I have ever been. Even when you are all alone, in your zone, in your own world and you think that no one is watching, that nobody cares, someone probably is! So even if not 10000 people read this blog that I am throwing out there, to share all the ups and downs and lessons learned in training, I will keep writing (and training like a maniac) because you never who you might reach by doing the things you love to do, and who might be inspired to not quit and just decide to keep on going!


If At First You Don’t Succeed…

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again! and try, try, try some more!!…and one more time!

It seems like that has been the saying of my life lately, and some things just do not come easy for me! Sometimes, I look around at everything that is going on around me and feel like I have to work so much harder than others to get what I want. This often relates to work and school, but more recently with my own personal goals.

Take for example, marathon running. After I did my first race at the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, finishing in a little over 5 hours in much pain with horrible blisters, I set the goal to run fast enough in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. That would mean running 26.2 miles in under 3 hours and 40 minutes (8.4 min/ mile). The time, 3:40, is a time that would be engraved in my head for the next 2 and 1/2 years…. Because that is how long it took me to qualify, and I ran 8 more marathons in that time frame to do so! I remember talking to several people that qualified on their first marathon, and wondered why it was so much harder for me. Did they want it more? Did they train harder? Did they eat, sleep, and dream of qualifying more than me? Maybe. But I really think they were just faster naturally. Whatever the reason though, I still had to work harder to get that fast. Or, at least it felt that way!

Now, the same goes for competing in NPC Bikini competitions. I competed in my first NPC show at the Atlantic States NY in 2010 and placed 10 out of 18. I didn’t do too bad, but I had the same feeling as after I ran my first marathon: I knew I could do better and I wanted to do better! So I made The Goal: to win a show and turn Ifbb Pro. To date, I have competed in 7 NPC shows. Does that mean I need to compete 2 more before turning Ifbb pro? Perhaps so! One show to win local and another to win nationally?? Well, however many it is, each show has brought me and will bring me closer to my goal, little by little. My shoulders get a little rounder, my abs get a little tighter (unfortunately my thunder thighs never go away but that’s another story), and my presentation gets a little cleaner. Sometimes I might tweak too much here, too much there, but it is all a learning experience for me. And it is certainly healthier than lying on the couch eating potato chips!

So, however many shows it takes to do, I will do. As long as I am always learning, growing, improving and having fun…which I am! So maybe this saying is a good one: If at first you don’t succeed, try try try again and try try try some more!!….and one more time! Because, if it is only the journey that matters, not the destination, then I get to have that much more journey to enjoy! See me below, enjoying my journey yesterday at the NPC Excalibur in Culver City, LA. I’m chillin’ with big bro Pete and beautiful Khay Rosemond!




About PaulinaCarla

About PaulinaCarla.

Yes, I really do this

I figured that I would share what I have been doing the past hour or so…preparing my food for my bikini/fitness contest prep! It is actually very boring and the worst part of prep for me, so I figured a post about it might make it more exciting! I even took a picture for those of you that don’t really ever prep for a contest like this. It really helps when you are trying to follow a diet or even just eat healthier!

Usually, I do this every Sunday night and a few other times during the week. I cook all the proteins, starches, and veggies that I plan on eating for the next couple days. Unfortunately for me, the week before contest it is usually just boil and steam. This is only because it is faster and well, I’m not the most creative cook. Then, to some this might be seem obsessive, I weigh it out ounce by ounce, and distribute all the food into little plastic containers! It seems like a lot of work and a waste of time when I am actually doing it…but, when someone asks me if I want to get a pizza or burrito for lunch, I simply point to my container and say.. I’m all set! See, so easy to eat healthy! And it’s cheaper too!


Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is almost over here and, for first time ever on this day, I am going to bed a little hungry! That is because I am getting ready for an NPC bikini show next week – the Excaliber in Culver City. No pie or mashed potatoes for me, but I did make 3 pies from scratch so it definitely smelled like Thanksgiving!

But, food is not what it’s about anyway!!! Or so they say… 😉
I did take the time to reflect on what I was thankful for though, as I usually do almost everyday, and believe it or not, it is a lot! So, I am just sharing a photo of who I spent my time with today, and was so grateful to be able to so….my older siblings! They are the most beautiful, smart, talented, creative, and inspiring people that I know. As teachers, trainers, and artists, I know that they reach many people and that I am not the only thankful one! Thanks guys!!


5 Finger Shoes

So, today was the first time in many months that I decided to work out in my Vibram 5 Finger shoes. The last time I wore these shoes was when I was training for the Boston Marathon in early 2011. It just so happened that during that time period I was also getting ready for the NPC San Diego bikini championships. As many of you might know, those two activities don’t usually go hand in hand! However, I happened to be the leanest that I have ever been at a show, understandably, and placed pretty well at that show at 4th place. So, my experience tells me that from all that running, I will NOT run my butt off… literally!

Now, given that some of my critiques from Fitness America Bikini contest that I just did last Saturday include me not being lean enough and suffering from some sort of “runner’s calf” (sounds kind of gross but it is just that the shape of the muscle makes calves look thicker at the bottom…not to be confused with a cankle!), I have decided to pull out the 5 toe shoes and work out my legs a little different. I could very well replace running with the stair master or bike to get the look I want, but as many of those who know me (or are getting to know me), I am a long-time die hard marathon runner. To stop running or even just run a little less is unheard of! I refuse to stop doing something I absolutely love…in fact, I am going to do it more! Check out my kicks below as I hit the pavement! Hopefully, I’ll still be able to walk tomorrow…


Just saying hello

My name is Paulina and this is my first post! I am really excited that I am finally able to sit down and write this, and actually have something meaningful that I can share with everybody! Basically, this is a blog where I wish to share all my details for training, working out, and maintaining my healthy lifestyle. As a marathoner, triathlete, national level bikini and fitness competitor I always thought that the things I did everyday were just a normal healthy way of living. I was always so focused on what I was doing that I never really stopped to see who was watching me. However, more and more people, friends, family, and even strangers, were telling to me how inspirational I am!

Me? Inspirational? Well, normally I would think to myself “hmmm, ok, whatever…”, but something kind of struck me the other day to create this blog…so stay posted and hopefully tomorrow I will have something good to say! 🙂