Journey to the Crown – Devin Grissom (March 2014)

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Here she is—the (according to my mom) much anticipated MONTH 1 of Pageant Prep by Devin. As promised, I will be outlining the last month and the progress I have made to become the ever-elusive “pageant ready.”

I’m not going to lie, this month was a pretty slooowwwww start to my journey : /

Nonetheless--my overall goal for March was simple:


Getting and staying motivated for a certain purpose is difficult—no matter how far in advance, you always have that voice in your head saying, “this cupcake is more important than your life’s goals and dreams” (or is that just me?)

The trick here is to stay motivated every day and ask yourself with every decision you make if it will take you closer or farther away from your goals. A lot easier said than done so let's just start from the beginning….

Day 1

About 20 minutes after my introductory blog went live, I had an OH CRAP moment that included thoughts like “Here goes nothing” “Woo! I’m excited!” … and “I guess I need to throw away that Easy Mac in the pantry.”

Side note: I seriously got rid of the Easy Mac, which is a big deal for me. Usually the day before I start a diet, I eat all of the junk food in my kitchen so it won’t be there to tempt me anymore. Great logic, I know. Moving on…

On top of those profound reflections, I also realized that it was my birthday week. What better way to start preparing for a pageant than on your birthday?! (sarcasm.)

Turning 23MARCH Week 1 - MY BIRTHDAY WEEK!

Seriously though, the most depressing part about turning 23 is no longer being fully immersed every time Taylor Swift’s “22” comes on the radio.

I can no longer relate to her adolescent frivolities, I am a mature 23 year old. Sigh.

My birthday week went as birthday weeks go...lots of celebrations including wine and cake.

Therefore, I decided to put my "start date" off another week...

Bad idea.


Why was that a bad idea, you ask?

Well, after my official "birthday week", my parents flew to California to visit which is really awesome because--like I told you in my intro blog last month--my parents are my favorite people in the world.

Obviously they were here to celebrate my birthday and...

HAD TO show them a good time.

With Mom in CaliforniaIn Grissom terms, a "good time" really means "good food and drinks" and "good food and drinks" really mean "unhealthy food and drinks". You get where this is headed...

I was planning on starting my "healthy kick" this week but the parentals had other plans and sadly--I did not object to those plans. We decided to take a whirlwind tour of Northern California which included San Jose, Monterey/Carmel, the famous 17-mile drive, Napa and San Francisco all in 4 days!

Good news: We had a blast.

Bad news: My "Journey to the Crown" was officially off to a bad start.

I told y'all that I would fill you in on the ups and the downs--my first two weeks were majorly filled with downs (pageant prep-wise).

Attempting to take measurementsMARCH Week 3 


Obviously just winging it was not the best option for me so I decided to create more of a structured plan for the end of March and for my preparations going forward.

After my parents left Cali--I had a good week at home before my next stint of traveling. This was the perfect time to focus without any distractions.

Everyone needs a baseline when they start a plan – so begrudgingly, I have decided to take all of my measurements and “before” pictures to keep track of my progress as I go along!


My goal this month was to -- from this day forward -- start working out 6 days a week. No excuses. Even if I can only fit in a mile run some days, IMG_1103I will be active! In the past I have gotten in shape with typical gym cardio/weights, Pure Barre, Kickboxing classes and even the Insanity dvds.

This month I am going to focus on lots of cardio at the gym—6 days a week of cardio and 3 days a week with weights.I have always had a pretty athletic frame and can put on muscle pretty quickly. I would love to hear some suggestions from you guys on how to perfect the “long/lean” look.

I will also keep y’all updated as well in the months to come on what I am trying and what is working/not working.

Obviously with a gym routine comes a motivational workout playlist! These songs really make the time fly on the treadmill. Check them out!

Heads Will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
My Body by Young the Giant
Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo



My goal for March is to give up dessert completely from here on out. This was not enforced in Week 1 or 2 because obviously I had to have birthday cake. I mean, come on, who skips out on birthday cake?

Although I did skip Thanksgiving while preparing for Miss Alabama USA—perfect example of GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME DEV! Thank goodness I wont have another birthday for 11 months so we wont have this issue again. Phew.

Also, I will be creating a food/workout journal to keep track of my snacking and activities. Even when trying to eat super healthy, it is easy to over-snack during the day or to not realize how many calories are in that green smoothie.

With a food journal, I will be able to keep track of calories in vs calories out. That sounds obsessive and weird but seriously it helps me  (prime example: I didn't have on the first 2 weeks of March.)

Palm Springs!MARCH Week 4

Week 4 of March included a trip to BEAUTIFUL Palm Springs, CA. My company, Barracuda, had their 2014 Sales Kickoff at an amazing resort, Rancho Las Palmas. It was stunning, fun filled and majorly work filled.

I stayed up for pretty much 3 nights straight creating 'daily wrap ups' by 8am every morning. It was exhausting but honestly, an absolute BLAST. I had such a good time that I didn't mind staying up late and it didn't feel like work--I am so lucky to have a job that I love and enjoy.

Since I was constantly working this week in Palm Springs, I only had one day that I was able to hit the gym. As a slight compensation, I tried to do squats and abs while doing computer work at night.

I figured out this week that I need a quick easy workout to be able to do early in the morning or late at night when I am traveling--which I do quite a bit.

As a result, I ordered T25! I have done Insanity in the past and absolutely loved it. T25 is created by the same guy but it's made for people who don't have much free time--cha ching! I am so excited to start it in April : ) Of course, I will let you know how it goes.


never give upNow I just want to vent about some thoughts that have been bombarding my brain lately. Excuse me while I step up on my soapbox for a second (hey, that’s what a blog is for right?) --

Why keep trying? I hear this question a lot in pageantry and have really been facing this issue personally in Month 1 of my preparations. Here is my answer:

It’s easy to give up.

Some would say just giving up is easier than dealing with people asking why you keep reaching for a goal when you have already tried twice and failed. Obviously that means it’s not meant to be--right? What if I give it my all and still come up short? Is it worth it? Yes.

When these doubts start to sneak into my head I think of the ladies who have come before me: I think of Brenna Mader who competed twice before finally winning Miss Tennessee USA on her last year of eligibility.

I think of Ana Rodriguez who competed 4 times before finally winning Miss Texas USA on her 5th attempt and went on to place 3rd runner up at Miss USA 2011. I think of Crystle Stewart who also competed 5 times at Miss Texas USA before finally winning and going on to become Miss USA 2008. Both won in their final year of eligibility.

I wonder if it ever crossed their minds to “just give up.” Even if it did, these girls didn’t listen—and I wont listen either!

…and lastly, here's my final thought on pretty much everything about this post: 25 Signs Dieting Just Isn't For You

(Steps off Soapbox)

Let's hope that April goes more smoothly and consistently than March, lets do this! --and thanks again for following my journey! xoxo

Devin G.

This article was written by Devin Grissom

Devin Grissom got her start in pageants as Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen 2007. Devin then competed at Miss Tennessee Teen USA 2009 placing 2nd runner up to eventual Miss Teen USA 2009, Stormi Henley. Recently, Devin placed 1st runner up at Miss Alabama USA 2013 and 3rd runner up at Miss Tennessee USA 2014. Devin is a graduate of the University of Alabama and currently resides and works in Northern California as a marketing specialist.