Do you believe in magic?

I just got home from a completely mind-altering weekend and I feel like I'm on top of the world! I attended my first Camp Savage Weekend with Cathy Savage and her amazing team. I had no idea what was in store...

From the moment we arrived there was an electricity in the air. You could feel the energy pulsing in the room. We were all there for so many different reasons; but, one goal...to feel empowered and to leave stronger, more confident women. I have to admit though, I entered the weekend with some skepticism as I have always been wildly self-conscious and self-critical. I've spent countless years putting myself down and berating my body and I wasn't sure this one weekend was going to have a hand in changing any of that.

On Saturday morning, I walked nervously in to the "assessment" room and watched Cathy give feedback to my fellow Savage sisters. I was petrified. Would she tell me I was too fat? Would she laugh at me when I told her about my goal of competing in figure AND bikini in April? It was like my butt was glued to the floor as I watched girl after girl receive her feedback. Finally, I mustered up the courage to stand up and shuffled to the center of the room. I was sweating and shaking all at once. I could feel everyone's eyes on me. The first words out of Cathy's mouth were, "Aren't you pretty?" I was stunned...did she just call me pretty? She continued on complimenting my symmetry and beautiful skin. She said literally, everything, I could have hoped for and more. I was speechless. Later, she complimented me on my walk and my poise. Cathy Savage was complimenting me and saying I had amazing potential...it was EVERYTHING I was hoping for all these weeks leading up to Camp. Yet, when I got back to my hotel room I was in tears. I felt horrible and had no clue why! I was questioning myself and doubting whether or not I'd be able to do it. I have lived so long putting myself down. It was my norm. Cathy's words contradicted everything I had believed about myself and this was a person I have a great deal of respect for. I couldn't understand the emotions I was feeling. I was confused and angry with myself. I was frustrated that this amazing Camp "experience" wasn't working for me. I had to be some sort of massive failure.

When we woke up on Sunday, I fought back tears all morning while I talked with my teammates and coaches and tried to grit my teeth and smile through it even though I had this storm of emotion brewing inside me. I had spent all this time and effort to come to Camp and was leaving feeling even more disappointed in myself then before I got there and I couldn't understand why!

And then it happened...

We had our last small group session with Cathy and had the opportunity to ask more questions. I decided to speak up about this "magic" the veteran competitors referred to all weekend long. This miraculous moment when they woke up with abs and a feeling like they knew they were ready, that it had all been worth it. This just sounded crazy to me...

Annette Perry (Fitness Universe Champion 2010) and Gretchen Coley (Ms. Bikini Universe 2010), two of the most wonderful ladies I've had the pleasure of meeting, answered my question passionately. They talked about their transformations and about taking this frightening leap of faith. They had been in my position and encouraged me to trust the process and our knowledgeable coaches. They looked at me and affirmed that I've done everything right to this point and just had to take the leap and believe. It was then that it clicked...

I cannot explain how incredibly important this moment was for me.

On the way home, I called my mom to tell her about my amazing weekend. I told her about my breakthrough moment and immediately started crying as I reflected all the amazing moments of the weekend. I realized that for the FIRST time in my life I truly believed in myself in this genuine way that I've never felt before. My mom said, "Amber, it has been there all along. You just couldn't see it..." and I knew exactly what she meant. I was letting go and giving myself permission to believe in me. I could see myself in the mirror for the first time...the actual person that I am, with the great muscles and beautiful skin and statuesque presence that Cathy talked about.

Now I'm not going all cocky on you; but, I'm seeing myself through a new lens. One that appreciates me for me and all my hard work and discipline. One that understands the missteps. One that is not going to let a cookie be my undoing. I've spent so many years torturing myself and berating myself for not being "enough." And suddenly, I could see that I am so much more than that. I was going to trust myself and this process and achieve my dreams....because I CAN.

I was surrounded by AMAZING, beautiful, strong, and courageous women this weekend. In all shapes and sizes that are perfect in SO many ways. Why don't I deserve to believe in me too? The strength I gathered from my experience at Camp Savage this weekend has put my mind at ease and helped me realize that all this worrying has been for naught.

It's time to believe in me. It's time to shine and take it to an entirely different level. 2011 is our year, my friends. Watch out world. The Savage girls are coming at ya....Congo line and all! xoxo


Tips from the Rookie

Hello My Friends! My name is Amber Eve and I’m a newbie to the fitness competition scene. I began training and eating clean in April of 2010 when my good friend, Jackie Briggs, was preparing for her first competition. She inspired me to begin my journey towards a healthier and happier me and I couldn’t be more grateful for that day. (I also want to congratulate Jackie for her first place finish in fitness at the 2010 Fitness New York competition!)

Presently, I am training under the guidance of Cathy Savage Fitness for my first figure competition, which will take place in April of 2011, talk about full circle! I couldn’t be more thrilled to share my journey and provide you with tips from a bonafide rookie! I’ll also share humorous tales as I learn the ropes about competing; everything from how to walk in a teeny, weeny bikini while wearing sky-high platform heels and a spray-on tan that probably could glow in the dark and also how to survive family get togethers. I have to be honest, I never thought I’d receive strange glances from my nearest and dearest when I passed on the wine and mashed potatoes at the dinner table. These glances were shortly followed by the questioning. “So…you’re like, a body builder now?” Awkward pause and blank stare. “Does that mean you’re going to start talking like a man and growing facial hair?” Classic. Unfortunately, exchanges like this one are par for the course; but having a sense of humor and slowly gaining more confidence in my new lifestyle has been incredibly empowering. My family and friends better understand my goals now and are really supportive. They have even started implementing some clean recipes into our dinners together and occasionally ask me for tips on balancing healthy eating and workouts. So I thought I’d start off by sharing a few of my favorite tips to make life a little healthier (and easier):

1. Set yourself up for success, be prepared! Portion out food ahead of time and place it in small plastic bags or containers so you can grab a serving and go (i.e. 1 oz. raw almonds = approx. 28 almonds).

2. Choose fruits that are “self-wrapped,” like clementines, apples, bananas or pears to toss in your bag so you’re never without healthy options on the go.

3. Two words…baby spinach! This lil wonder veggie is an excellent source of nutrition and works with most meals. I throw it in egg white omelettes, salads and even my protein shakes. It takes on the flavor of the shake when you blend it up and helps me get my veggies in when I don’t feel like eating broccoli first thing in the morning.

4. Grill and cook in bulk so you can pull from large containers all week long. We make grilled chicken on Sundays and pull from the container throughout the week to make preparing meals a breeze.

I may look like a pack mule schlepping 4 bags into the office everyday; but, the bottom line is, I’m prepared. I’m prepared for whatever the day will bring, be it pot luck feasts or office runs to the pizza shop downtown. These potential diet catastrophes are a blip on the radar because I have a plan.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you and encouraging you to not only live a healthy life; but in the words of Ms. Winfrey, live your best life!

Much Love and Happy New Year!

Here's a lil pic of tonight's dinner...ground turkey and veggie sauce on a bed of spinach. Mmmmmm!



A friend of mine encouraged me to join her for her bikram yoga class this week. I had no idea what this meant until she put into layman's terms for me. "2 words," she said, "Hot. Yoga."

Boy o boy was I clueless about what this lil extravaganza would entail.

I arrived 30 minutes early per my friend's instructions to fill out the waivers and jockey for position in the back of the room (so I could watch the more experienced yogis do their thing).

Upon entering the studio, I was slapped in the face with a wall of some sort of hideous odor. I came to later identify it as the putrid stench of feet and sweat. I continued in and took off my boots and jacket per the signs in the entryway and shuffled barefoot up to the front desk.

After signing the appropriate waivers, I headed to the locker room after navigating my way through the coed naked shower line from the previous class. I found a spot to disrobe and looked around nervously to see what others were (or weren't) wearing. I had originally planned to sport a tank top; but, had a change of heart upon contemplating the 100 degree temperature I was about to endure.

I stepped in to the studio and set up my mat and towels and tried to sit down and relax before class began. I couldn't help but admire the lean and flexible people all around me and only hoped that being able to touch my toes was an appropriate pre-requisite.

Class began and the first exercise included deep breathing. I was already struggling as the first few beads of sweat began to trickle down my back. The next few postures didn't get any easier; but, I hung in there. The sweat became more and more intense and grasping my own limbs became a near impossible task. I highly suggest one bring along a minimum of 2 towels for these classes!

The class lasted about 90 minutes. Some of it was absolutely grueling. Listening to the instructor in his tiny spandex shorts clapping out commands in the midst of the downpour of sweat sent me into a trance. I was becoming one with the room and even though I struggled on just about every pose, I felt satisfaction in the fact that I was doing it. I was there. I set a goal to try something brand new that pushed me way beyond my comfort zone. And boy did it ever. I sat in a room drenched from head toe in sweat with racoon eyes from mascara (so much for waterproof) with nothing on but a sports bra and tiny shorts.

Talk about WAY beyond the comfort zone!

I left the studio really looking forward to the fresh, cool January air; but, I also left feeling extremely empowered. I conquered the anxiety I had felt about going in there and pushing myself to do something I had never done before. And that, my friends, is the wonderful feeling!


Do it now!

'Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.'"

--W.H. Murray, of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition

Go out and get those dreams! Don't wait for tomorrow....do it now!

Here is a look at my vision board for January 2011. I look at it everyday to stay inspired!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Busy Girls, Check this out!

I recently submitted a guest blog post to the wonderful Lori Harder's Busy Girl, Healthy Life website. She liked what she saw and she posted it! You have to check out her site, it's full of healthy recipes and tricks for eating clean on the go. My blog post is there too!


Check it out!