I am tired all day, every day. At times, it is a struggle to get through the workouts and there are days I just have to miss my second cardio of the day. I'm human and not perfect at this thing.

Alex says until this competition is over, I will be tired because this is the "hard part", the home stretch. My body is fatigued.

I don't even know how many hours each week I am spending on food preparation, training, and posing practice, but far more than 25.

I am trying to find everything inside of me to wake up before my 3:30 a.m. shift to do my hour of cardio, but as you can imagine, that turns into a vicious fight with my alarm clocks.

So I commit to cardio and training for three hours in the afternoon and my sleep pays for it. On a good night, I get 4-5 hours of sleep, but there are not always good nights.

It's nice to hear all of the wonderful compliments about my "transformation", but just know that it hasn't come without a ton of hard work, sacrifice, and some tears along the way.

I almost reached the point last night where I wanted to throw in the towel and say "it's just too hard."

I want to go out to dinner with my friends, sit on the couch and watch TV, and not worry about making it to the gym.

To be honest, I'm not a quitter. I've never been a quitter. So, I'm not going to quit.

I credit all of the awesome Local 10 viewers for that resolve. You are watching and sending me encouraging messages to keep going and it truly helps. Every week I get an extra push from you all to keep going! It's invaluable.

Even if I don't win or place or even do really well in this competition, I know I've given it everything I've got. At the end of the day, we are only competing against ourselves.

So for anyone wanting to embark on this wild journey, please understand this is one of the most difficult things you can put your body through. It is hard work and will not come easy. But I guess, if it were easy everyone would do it!

Sept. 25, 2013

I'm hungry and exhausted today! The diet plan is getting so challenging, sometimes all I can think about are sweets and pizza!

Two days ago, I received another change to my diet. I cannot eat carbohydrates for three days and on the fourth day, I will eat 125 carbohydrates. Then I will repeat this cycle to see how my body responds.

Even after only two days of no carbs, I notice a difference. My stomach is tighter and I feel lighter.

For my meals, I pretty much stick to egg whites, spinach, chicken, and tilapia. Mustard is my best friend and a life saver when it comes to no-calorie flavor!

Still excluded from my diet are dairies, fruits, and sugars.

On my no carb days I have two servings of fat, which can be avocado, olive oil or almonds.

It almost seems impossible to keep this up for another four and a half weeks, but if it's going to give me the results I need for the stage, then I am willing to try it.

I know I've made great progress (I lost 25 pounds!), but I still don't feel like I am where I need to be to step on stage just yet.

Of course, I have fears that I won't be ready in time. My coaches continue to tell me that I will if I do everything they tell me to.

They are the professionals, so they should know.

I know at this point, it's all up to me. If I cheat on the diet, that will only hurt me and my chances at competing.

So until it's over, I will stick to my egg whites and chicken and look forward to the days when I can have brown rice and ezekiel bread (my carbs of choice)!