This week, I got metaphorically punched in the gut. A co-worker asked me if I had stopped “doing my 'weight loss' program." Why the hell would anyone say something like that? I was fighting tears all afternoon -at work, no less - wondering if I am f’ing things up, wondering if I am just fooling myself, and wondering just how “bad” I actually look. Luckily, I have the support of my husband. Among other consoling comments, he said, “you look better than you ever have.” That’s saying a lot, as he has known me for almost twenty years. And - trust me - when he wants to, he will just stay out of things if he doesn’t want to get involved. It can be aggravating at times, but when he does give his two cents, I always know he is sincere.
IB: Even with the growing popularity of female athletes and CrossFit chicks, this skinny business runs deep, both in the media's projection of the perfect feminine figure and our psyche.
I have recovered. It will haunt me a bit. But, I still feel I am - and have been - making good choices. I guess sometimes you need an ignorant comment to reevaluate your situation and confirm that you are on the right path.
This week I came up with a new set of long(ish)-term goals. It’s fun not having everything be about weight loss and low body fat.
1. Deadlift 225 pounds (int/adv level), 2 reps
2. Bicep barbell curl 95 pounds (? level), a few reps
3. Overhead barbell press 105 pounds (advanced level), a few reps
As of the end of Oct – my PRs are:
1. Deadlift 200 pounds, 2 reps
2. Bicep curl 65 pounds, 8 reps
3. Overhead barbell press 77.5 pounds, 4 reps
IB: I think you can do #1 for sure, with consistent work. I think #2 and #3 are pretty intense goals. That's not a bad thing, but it can be a mindf*ck if you stall or they prove more elusive than they sound. I'm not saying you can't get there, but perhaps break the goals up into smaller chunks, say five to ten pound increments? This way, you are being rewarded and positively reinforced more often, instead of waiting so long for the big payoff, or feeling like a failure if you don't hit the mark in 2016.
I also pondered about what was said last week “Try to rest a little, too. You are going hard. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you recognize burnout & respect it with a little R&R.”
You are going hard. . . .
Bulking is an opportunity that I want to make the most of. It’s a chance to really build muscle before the calorie deficit/cut. I love going hard. I love feeling like I am working harder than anyone I know, personally, and harder than the majority of the people “out there”.
I’m not gonna lie. The eating is great. But, it IS 90% whole foods – fruits, vegs, lean protein, some dairy. . . . Very rarely does my food come from a wrapper, never through a window, and once a week from a waitress. So, yeah, it’s nice not being hungry most of the time – even though I am hungry ALL the time. But, it’s not a bunch of “fun food”, either. And, it’s A LOT of work! Thank GOD my husband is in charge of dishes.
Try to rest a little, too. . . .
Since last April - and before I started this bulk - I didn’t take scheduled rest days. I am comfortable saying that I averaged training seven days per week. Now, I look forward to, embrace, and know I need a full-fledged rest day. I read that the only thing that you’re supposed to work on a rest day is your thumb on the remote. Well, unfortunately I don’t have a professional chef, dog walker, grocery shopper, or maid. So, yes – I cook, clean, shop, and walk my dog on my rest day. BUT, I am proud of myself for not even considering doing a workout beyond stretching, foam rolling, or easy yoga. And, my body thanks me for that.
A little R&R . . .
I usually salvage a few hours on a Sunday afternoon into the evening to not be physically moving. However, I am (most likely) meal planning and workout planning or reading about meal planning or workout planning. . . or watching football – GO HAWKS!!
recognize burnout& respect it . . .
I know when I am overtraining. It’s this inner demon you really feel in your gut – fatigue, headaches, grumpiness, problems sleeping . .. I recognize it, acknowledge it, and I know THAT is the time to back off and readjust. But, I also remember a conversation that I had with a trainer. She and I were discussing the intense and large amount of training that I do. I told her that, “My body can take it.” Those words came out so naturally and she seemed to appreciate and understand it.
IB: Anything else this week worth noting?
Regarding my progress, I checked my calendar and was pleasantly surprised that I am only a couple pounds higher than I thought I would be at this point (6 weeks into the bulk) when I initially predicted/planned my weight gain. I chalk that up to ignorance about how many carbs I would be consuming. For some reason, I thought I was about eight pounds higher than my prediction/plan (and I was even okay with it). Must be all that extra muscle I am building, too . . . that’s a joke
I think timing meals is SO important. Keep in mind that I am doing 8 intense workouts/week and my body is in a constant state of repair (aka gains):
Upon waking - HICA Max (needs empty stomach which is rare)
½ c Greek yogurt
1/8 c Fiber1
Sprinkle protein powder
Wait about 15 minutes (check email, IG, FB)
Preworkout – ½ scoop + ½ scoop Super Carb
Set up workout room/weights
Intraworkout – -< ¾ scoop InKaged after warm up – I try to drink this during the 1st 1/2 of workout since takes a while to get into system, then LOTS of water
Decaf coffee (plenty o’ caffeine in the pre and intra workout)
Scoop protein powder
1/8 c Fiber1
1 c spinach
1 slice Ezekiel bread
Protein ball (homemade – generally nuts, seeds, dates, protein powder, add ins)
Scoop protein powder
Coffee (shutting myself off of caffeine, soon!)
1 tbs natural pb
Fig bar (homemade recipe in Runner’s Weight – GOOD!)
2 c salad green
½ can tuna
1 scoop protein powder
1/3 c low fat cottage cheese
½ c mango
If 2nd workout, drink Supercarb on way to gym and 1st half of workout
Dinner through bed time
8 oz chicken breast
1/3 cup quinoa
1 slice cheese (try to stick with parmesan, maybe cheddar – NOT processed foodish thing)
1.5 tbs peanut butter
1 Fiber1 brownie - going to change this to something healthier – just had a box of that I needed to get rid of ;)
If I feel like I can’t make it through the night – protein ball
Other supps throughout day – 1-2 small scoop Crealean, 1-2 HICA Max
IB: I like the fact your goals are to lift heavier weight primarily, before being a certain weight. It is good to feed your body and if you're not eating enough food, to provide fuel through supplements if you are hitting it that hard. Next week is going to be our last weekly installment, but I definitely want to catch up in January, then in March, to see you through the entire transition.
You can follow Jeanne on bodyspace: jfpeter, Instagram @gypsymom34 and twitter @whislingypsy.