Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year Rising

2010 hasn't been the smoothest of years for me. Between work, the house, the bank, the injuries, and the eating "issues," I've definitely had a lot on my plate through the majority of the year. It hasn't really slowed down any. In fact, if I had to say, I'd say it's just piled higher and deeper with all signs pointing to a few more inches before it's all over!

But what is there to do? Nothing can be solved with worry, nothing can be solved with fear or with hiding from reality, nor will I feel better if I allow myself to feel overwhelmed with it all.

Last week I got to visit with my family and friends, and I had a good reminder of all I do have...of all the good that i can celebrate from 2010, all I learned and experienced, and all the good I still have to look forward to, regardless of what happens in the days/weeks/months to come...

That brings me to a song I heard today...it was by the Foo Fighters and the lyrics to "Times Like These" went like this:

I am a new day rising
I’m a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight


New Years Eve can be considered the new year rising, and that is a beautiful thing. But the thing that's even better, and the thing that often gets overlooked is that every day is the new day rising, and every tomorrow is the brand new sky. That means endless chances to change, to get back up and try again, to push on, endless chances to laugh and love. Endless chances to remember that I still have an amazing family, friends that are always there for me, I have my health and strength, and I'm working on finding my TIME again. The past is exactly where it needs to be (behind me) and I'm taking steps to move forward. Granted, some are bigger than others, but every step is in the right direction.

So besides the biggies, some of the things I need to focus on with each new day:
1. Listening and trusting me, finding balance (work/life, training, food)
2. Stretching (always!)
3. Getting back to some personal training

Cheers to New Years and new days rising...

Monday, December 20, 2010

December Skillz!

This is skillz week! We love that :)

Usually Skillz Day falls on a Wednesday but I swapped mine around this week due to holiday travel craziness, so today was the day!

The PLAN called for (a bunch of warm-up sets and then...):

Squat x 185 and 195
Bench x 110 and 120
Deadlift x 290 and 310

Which I stuck to, exxxxceeeepppptttt on Squat :)
I went ahead and went for the ole 200...

And I did it! YEAH! OMG you have no idea how excited I was! Here's the big lift of the day:



Note happy dance at the end! Hahah :)

Bench went well, we only videod the 110 though, just in case there wasn't enough juice for the DLs:



For Deads, 290 went up pretty easily and with pretty decent form. A little rounding of the back but nothing excessive and I did set up strong - chest up, tight arch, but I was really beginning to tire here. Tooooo many DL warmups prior to this lift I think..plus essentially a meet in 90 minutes, so way less rest and no between lift snacks...FUH-tigue ;)

Here's 290:


Up next was 310. Lemme just preface this with *wow* 310 looks ugly! I told Myles before I did this one I was already tired, he said (after) that that might imply how the lift would look, hahah...too true! Terrible back rounding...very tough off the floor, but once I broke it it came up fast. 260 x 2 prior to the 290 I think was too much. One would've been plenty ;) Here it is, in all it's bad form glory ;)



So with that...we finish out the training plan. Which, crap! I forgot to mention to Dave, ends a week too early...I noticed it last night. Anyway...feeling good about the meet! yeah!

T's Skillz Day is on Wednesday :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Raw Unity 2011 & GF Powaaaa

As if I couldn't already be excited enough about Raw Unity 2011, I've talked the fabulous and amazing Ms. T into joining me this year! The QT's have been lifted and T is in her off-season, so why not?!

With only 6 weeks to prep, we are getting down to business fast. In general, it's just some tweaking of the basics to get her PL prepped, learning the commands and the rules, and then building on her already strong lifts for added power and performance :) I have to say that I absolutely am LOVING having a virtual training partner...wish she was here, we would be having a blast. But as it is, we are performing essentially the same workouts each training day, the weight varies but the framework is the same.

I'm also loving being in a vaguely coaching role, so much fun! I still have a lot to learn, but I think it's helping me focus and better understand what I HAVE learned in order to pass it along.

T's found someone at her gym that is helping her adjust the mechanics of some of her lifts and I think in just one or two sessions he's been a tremendous benefit to her. That plus she's starting to video her lifts now and send them along..we're gonna have her squared away in no time - she's gonna be a supastaaaah at the meet. First time, and a total of 600+ is in the cards! We're gonna be quite the duo, I suspect ;)

YEAH!

Meanwhile, my training is coming along well, tomorrow is "Skills Day" and Myles is once again accompanying me to the gym. I *heart* skills day :) That should give us some good info to use going into the meet...we'll see, I'm sure Myles will make me behave myself but of course I don't *want* to ;)

Leaving on Tuesday for VA, I fully expect to be able to get all my training in while home and not miss a beat. When I get back a week from Wednesday, I'm subbing OUT one training session hopefully to train a day with the infamous RC-ster - fun!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm Still Here

I've been very successful the last few weeks in just BEING. I've not logged food or tracked calories or macros since Thanksgiving. I've had insanely good training sessions...but the past week or so I've been feeling extremely out of control. My weight had been fairly stable (and many will argue it still is) around 145 until the onset of my period when I bumped up 3lbs. Now three weeks later, essentially none of it has gone. With each day, the obsession over that grows, along with the sense that I need to DO something..."it's been long enough! it should come down! obviously you're doing something wrong. Fix it, less food, work harder..." blah blah blah...

I recognize that a) I don't know why it popped up and won't come down (well I know why it popped up, it's the won't come down part I don't know...), and b) this feeling today really is not about my weight but the general feeling of being out of control of my life, and wanting to control SOMETHING.

We found out we were taking another paycut at work, and when that came down and I still hadn't heard from the bank, I decided to take control of the situation and list my house for short sale. That decision felt freeing and brought a small sense of relief and closure to a situation that felt like it would never come to resolution. Just before the Realtor came to take pictures and get the house listed, the bank sent me a letter and denied my modification. So today I really have no idea what's going to happen with it...I have no control of what the bank might do, or how things are going to work out, I just have to trust that right now in each moment I'm making the right decisions toward the future.

I do recognize this feeling though. This is the tightest, most squeezed, feeling most "captive" point...the point where I feel all of the tension about "what's to come" and not knowing and a lot of fear...I know pushing through this there will be a release on the other side, there will be that moment of freedom when I can run out with my arms outstretched, I know that all of this will ultimately lead to a big growth spurt and new opportunities and all around good things. RIght here on the precipice I know the only way to escape is to jump, but it still looks like a huge jump with no net...Really I wish I had someone to jump with me, but...I've done this before, I just need to stay the course.

In our last session (the one before today), we talked about not giving yourself the 'leftovers." She said (summarizing) 'you spend so much time running around trying to put out fire after fire, to fix that, and make this right, and make that better, and help this person and do this over here...that by the time you get around to you you expect YOURSELF to run on autopilot. No attention, no self care necessary. You essentially look at yourself and say "hey, really? you can't just work on autopilot? Really? I have to pay attention to YOU TOO? what is WRONG with you?"

Today when I saw her, she reminded me of that. She said now, more than ever, I cannot give myself just the leftovers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Many Thanks

Thanksgiving morning I went to the gym for my regular Deadlift training session. There I ran into a woman who I hadn't seen in a few months. When I had spoken to her a few months back, she was new to the gym and she was definitely having a hard time with some things, she asked me a few questions here and there. Super nice and I thought she was going to do great, she was consistent and trying hard...anyway she disappeared.

Thursday when I saw her she came right up to me and said hello, I was really happy to see her :) I remarked that I hadn't seen her in a while, and she briefly told me that she had found a lump in her breast and then about all the tests and the procedures and ultimately she had surgery to have it removed. I asked her if she was ok, did she have to have chemo or radiation or anything and she said no - they got it all in surgery. And then she said, "so it's taken a while for me to recover enough to get back here, and now I'm just...(long pause here...and then she cried)...enormous!" Which, she wasn't..but whatever...WOW.

From the depths of my heart I wanted to just wrap my arms around her and give her a huge hug (I didn't, semi-stranger and all), but instead told her how much that SOOOOO didn't matter, that she's healthyand safe now and it's ok to build back to things slowly, and what a wonderful Thanksgiving gift! She cried some more because her foot was hurt somehow too and she couldn't squat, and she just felt *completely defeated*. It was all over her face and in her eyes...it was heartbreaking. We talked a bit longer, she stopped crying, and she resolved to just start slow and try again and she wandered off. She didn't stay very long, maybe 20 minutes total and she left.

To make this about me (nice, right?) - I welled up tremendously on the inside when she came out with "enormous," it was honestly the last thing I expected to hear. I never believed more strongly than in that moment that the weight didn't matter, that she was healthy and not suffering through radiation or having chemicals all injected into her body. I'm trying to articulate something here that I'm having a hard time finding words for, so bear with me...

It was like anytime I had tried to say that before - whether to myself or to someone else, was in comparison, a total flat out downright lie. The power with which I felt that at that moment was immense, and if THAT is the measure I have to go by, then I can't possibly have ever believed it until right then. Does that make sense?

I felt small for the tremendous worry I've put into what amounts to somewhere between 6 and 10 pounds. This year has been hard for me and I've gotten way too caught up in the negative, so what with the finances, the cut and pay...I still can still eat and drive and have a roof. So what about the bank and the fucked up mortgage stuff, and so what to alllll of it - I am healthy and my friends and family are healthy and safe and despite the struggles, I really have so much to be thankful for and there is nothing REALLY wrong....

In that moment I realized that I really need to do a better job of getting my head out of my ass on a daily basis. And I've known that, and I've felt that before, but never quite so profoundly as I did Thursday. I know others have had moments like this...and even have shared them with me. Maybe not about weight or whatever, but general worry about things like jobs, economy, etc - worry followed by the realization of what really COULD be wrong, and a recognition (or re-remembrance of) what is important.

What COULD be wrong is someone that I care about could be very ill or dying. And thankfully right now, that is not the case. So in the face of nothing less than that - I should be strong and forever thankful for health and general well-being...the health of my family and friends and the health of myself.

For me, it finally connected, all of it. What's important. It's weird it came not from my mom's 5yr cancer all-clear, or a while back from a personal story a close friend shared with me about a health scare in their own family - but from what amounts to essentially a stranger. I'm not sure if it was because of the day, if it was because the time was just right, who knows why...but it did, and I'm sooooo grateful for that.

So I went into the rest of the day "light." I had no worries, I had no plan! What would I need to plan for? Really...I had a wonderful invitation to enjoy the day with RC's family, and that's all I needed to know and do :) I simply had every intention of enjoying that time, and I did :) And I can't say enough how wonderful it was to be welcomed into someone elses family that day when mine was so far away. And on THE day when all of this came together for me. What's important....oh here come the tears :) But happy ones :) Did I mention RC's mom? She's a shining bright light :)

Anyway - again the day with RC and his family was beautiful. We ate a million courses before the main meal, I enjoyed a little bit of wine, and a little of everything I wanted. After dinner we went for a short walk, then came back in a bit later for dessert. Which was plentiful, and included in addition to the traditional pie choices, also a birthday cake for RC's wife AND chocolate chip cookies for RC, hahah. I had THOSE, OMG yum. Two :)

I came home just filled with lots of thoughts, a lot of joy, a lot of 'lightness' despite the food..really I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Interestingly, I was down a half a pound the next day.

I've been able to carry this lightness with me all weekend. I met the guy for coffee turned lunch on Friday, and Saturday we had dinner out. So three days in a row...I've eaten what I've wanted and foods that aren't "normal" to me. I haven't logged a single calorie or figured any macros since Wednesday. I'm listening, trusting, and feeling, and find I'm getting so much better at knowing both hunger and satiety and I can feel some of the fear leaving as that improves...more lightness. Today even after a very rich meal last night, I'm down yet another half pound (obviously I'm still weighing myself daily)...but beyond that though I feel lighter in just BEING, I feel strong, and I feel more joyful. I really enjoyed the beach yesterday...honestly it may sound crazy cheesy but I just see things slightly differently.

Maybe I've finally made my first full step towards truly living weightless :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Laying the Foundation

I guess I'm looking at the past week or so as building the new foundation for myself...last week with all of the food and the meet I walked away feeling like my body really DOES know what it needs, and I CAN listen...I just have to be open to it. And I have to be open to it more than just once every few months come meet time....imagine a whole training period of doing it right and how the NEXT meet day will be?!

I CAN imagine it, especially after this one...and I'm up for the challenge. T-minus 10 weeks and counting till the next one. Lots of time to practice and get this right. A few bricks have been layed in the right direction.

I had an appointment with Christie today...we talked about the few days before the meet, the meet, after the meet...hahah...all about food. We talked about the realizations I'd had from the meet about the amount of food I probably need, but we also talked about last night at my last meal with my parents - I found another piece of the puzzle.

Disclaimer: if anyone's view of food is more skewed than mine, it's my dad's ;)

So we're at dinner. I had ordered a grilled mahi-mahi with veggies and a baked potato. He'd ordered fried clams, potato wedges and cole slaw, and an appetizer of clam chowder. He's about half way through his chowdah (correct spelling ;) and makes his very typical announcement, "well I'm full" as he takes another bite and then another. Then he tells me he doesn't really need to eat very much, really he needs very little and could eat just once a day, but he was raised that you always finish what's on your plate no matter what, so he just can't stop.

Sure dad. I proceeded to remind him he was an adult, and his mother was 2,000 miles away, and if he REALLY was full, to stop eating, no one here would shove it down his throat. Which he protested and couldn't do. He finished the chowdah, then his meal came and he finished almost all of it (few potato wedges left), continuing to make comments now and then about being forced his whole life to finish what's on his plate regardless of satiety.

And somehow this was a "click" moment for me. My Dad doesn't know when he's satisfied. I don't think he even knows when he's stuffed.

I've come pretty far in recognizing when I'm hungry, and I've been working on eating when I'm hungry too (but if I'm being honest I've done a crappy job at it..I essentially throw my hunger a bone and try to be all conservative..like "oh...I'm hungry, ok I think I'll have a rice cake, that'll do the trick!"), and I know from my experience last weekend that I can recognize (*when I actually eat enough*) when I'm satisfied, and that I can stop eating before I get over full. But the catch is, on a day to day basis - I never give myself that opportunity to get fully satisfied (and stop eating!) because I prepare meals that are a certain size or portion, and that's it.

This right here [--------] is my meal. And that's it. When it's gone, I'm "satisfied", because that's the portion I prepared and because at some point along the way THAT was the right portion for weight loss. "Satisfied" in this case really simply means "done," satisfied or not! It's when I stop eating because THAT is the portion, not necessarily because I've had enough to eat. And while I've been trying to eat between meals when I'm hungry - maybe it's more that I shouldn't be hungry between meals (hahah...ding ding ding!).

So I don't really know what satisified feels like on a regular day-to-day basis...I eat to a point where I'm no longer ravenous, but never to the point where I feel really good and sated.

Today's work then has been preparing larger portions than "usual" and practicing eating until I'm satisfied. Which so far has been kind of scary (trust!) but going ok. This evening I feel like some of my energy is coming back...I was pretty wiped earlier in the day.

This is allll testing my tolerance but also probably proving a point...since I went back to work and working out and more of a "regimented" eating plan (and resultant lower calories) my weight has gone up (eat less, weigh more! :P) to almost 148....reaaaallly pushing it and honestly it stresses me out and makes it very hard to trust and not restrict restrict restrict. But I'm pushing through it, and feeling better is a big help.

Writing this all out I feel a bit like an idiot..like it's all a lot of "duhhh," but at least I'm finally piecing the "duhhh" together and trying to act on it :)

It's important that I get this right! I want to be strong! And healthy! And not neurotic! Or at least, less neurotic ;) Dave sent me my new training parameters and has upped my maxes for the next meet to 205 squat (!), 125 bench, and 325 (!) deadlift. That means all of the weights I'll be training with have increased as well since they are based off a percent of max, so it's ramping up fast. Gotta get this.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Brick Down...

You know Sunday night I promised myself not to get on the scale on Monday morning after the insane food fest of the weekend. The thing about all that was that that I knew I wasn't overeating for what I needed to do on Sunday. I mean I would make different choices obviously on a regular basis, and the overall quantity probably needs to be less - but given what I weighed in at on Saturday, and what I weighed on Monday when I did not keep my promise to myself...I was shocked. I was only up 2.4lbs to 146.6 yesterday morning...I don't think that was fat either, some sodium from eating out every single meal and I think that's about it! And even today, after I spent the day basically on the sofa doing *nada*...just about the same as it was yesterday.

Trying not to overthink it(harder than you might think, hahah) but I keep going back to how much I ate this weekend vs a "regular" day for me, and wondering how much/if at all i am undereating on a regular basis. This shouldn't be so hard and I'm probably continuing to over think and over complicate it, so I need to stop - just putting these thoughts out there though.

Right now I'm just going to keep on the same path....

I wonder how long I need to keep proving to myself, over and over, that I can do this. As long as it takes I imagine. Another brick in the path has been laid...

Monday, November 8, 2010

9 for 9: The Overview

I can't tell you why or how I went into this meet feeling as confident and strong as I did - definitely more so than ever before. Was it knowing I trained my ass off? Experience maybe? Who knows, but I felt it and it was comforting to just somehow "know" that I was really ready :)

I hit all 9 of my lifts - a first for me! I hit all of the goals I set for this meet, another first! I PR'd in each of the 3 lifts, and my total (huge!) AND...my new deadlift PR actually ranks me among the Top 20 Raw/Female 148lb deadlifts!

I ate more, I ate better. I trained hard...it all came together, I had a great day :)

The nitty gritty details of the day and each lift here.

9 for 9: The Nitty Gritty

Saturday morning was weigh-in. Got there at 7:30 and hopped on the scale to see 144.2, solidly within the bounds of my weight class. About 5lbs heavier than average from all prior meets, but solidly within the bounds nonetheless.

I spoke with Raphael before leaving about my food before the meet. I needed to do the weigh-in on Saturday and then nail the food to be at my best. We talked about not being afraid to eat for strength and energy, good choices of food, really taking advantage of food to go in as strong as possible on Sunday. All things I knew, but maybe I just needed to hear that I knew what to do and could trust that. Here's what he wrote, "basically just hearty food spread through the day. No macros or any of that stuff. Foods like pancakes for breakfast with eggs, a huge burger with fries or big steak with fries, maybe a big muffin at some point in the day. Just eating for strength and energy but not too the point of stuffing it down. This will have Cooth like a superwoman at the meet and probably give her a sound night of sleep too."

And so I ate. A lot. And I did it guilt and worry-free, and knowing it was going to help me on Sunday and I felt good about that :) Careful not to just load up and feel lethargic and gross, but I ate a ton. Pancakes, eggs, turkey sausage, breakfast potatoes for breakfast, a half pound burger with cheese and sweet potato fries, a 7oz steak with mashed potatoes, a VPX bar, and a big chocolate chip cookie from starbucks. Saturday night I got my foods together for what I would eat to keep me going through the day at the meet. I packed 3 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, a banana, a chocolate bar, a sliced up apple, and 2 VPX bars (Roasted Coconut, yum), plus 2 Spike Shooters and some xTend. That night I did sleep much more soundly..I woke up a lot, but the time I spent asleep was solid and restful.

Sunday morning - it was time. I started out with a SOLID breakfast of eggs, breakfast potatoes, a muffin, and a bagel. I got there a little early knowing I needed to register my first attempts and rack heights, and be on time for the rules meeting that started at 9. I registered all my first attempts as I had planned before the meet...Squat 170, Bench 100, Deads 270, but after the rules meeting I panicked a little and dropped my squat opener to 160. It's just the first lift of the meet, I needed to know I'd nail it no questions asked, and in the Rules meeting the meet director explained that 3 people bombed out on squats the day before - that was NOT going to be me!

He also explained that he re-arranged the flights to be 2 instead of 3, but they would be large. He wasn't kidding! I'd say each had 18 lifters. That makes for a LONG day (10 - 4), and a LOT of time between lifts...IMO too long, but you adapt or you don't - so I adapted.

I was a little worried about how things would go down in the warm-up room, since I was the only chick and they were all starting their warm-ups where I was ENDING...hahah..but they were really cool, they all helped me strip down the bar when I needed, gave me tips, etc. Pretty awesome, way friendlier than a lot of the women I've met in PL so far!

Here's how the day went down:

Opening Squat @ 49:50 (160)
Down and up, easy! Got some comments from Myles and Dave that I went "excessively" deep. The rule is the hip joint needs to be below the top surface of the knee...I didn't want to leave anything open to interpretation I guess, so I was sure to nail depth on my opener. First lift of the day done, and I knew it was going to be a good day - I felt real strong.

2nd Attempt Squat @ 1:09:00 (180)
Wellllll ok then...this one almost went wrong. I got too far back on my heels and my knees came in and I started down that "pancake" road, where I just fall forward and can't stand up out of the hole...this one was a battle, but it wasn't because of the weight, it was because I compromised my form. I was able to fight through it and get it back, and I came up strong - but I could feel them moving in to grab it! Again Dave and Myles said I went "excessively deep" and they blamed the form issues on that and a too fast descent. Based on the 180 being a struggle, they were concerned about the plan to go for 195 or 200 on the 3rd. Even though I stated multiple times that it wasn't the weight that was the issue, that it was my form and I would be sure to nail it on the 3rd, I almost let Dave talk me into just going for 190 on the 3rd, which would have tied my PR. Thankfully Myles very forcefully said, "Wait..no...what do you WANT?" I said, "what do I WANT? I WANT at least 195!" And with that, I entered my 3rd attempt at 195 :)

3rd Attempt Squat @ 1:29:00 (195)
Ahead of this squat, I visualized the descent and the pop up out of the hole. I visualized how it would feel to stand up with it on my back and knowing how it would feel when I nailed it. Myles focused my attention further on the squat I had done a few weeks earlier with him in the gym during an evaluation...more controlled descent, not as deep...*deep breath* I can DO this! I unracked, waited for my command...down....UP! I was unsure about my depth as I rose, but there was nothing I could do at that point - just needed to finish it! In my head it was a combination of "OMG it's going up! and OMG it wasn't deep enough, was it?!" In the auditorium the judge yelled "RACK!" I racked it and I heard, "and it's good!" and I knew I got it! I couldn't believe I got it! YES!

Did I have another 5lbs? I might have, I dont know...but I do know that I nailed a 5lb PR and it was time to move on and hit the bench.

It was Redemption time.

Bench 1 @ 32:00 (100)
Opened way light, because why not? Down, up, done! Smooth!


Bench 2 @ 49:40 (110)
Ahhh...110lbs. A number that has haunted me from my first powerlifting meet, and one that defeated me at my last meet. It was time to own it...110 loaded on the bar and down...wait for the command...PRESS! Up it went, no doubts, no pauses, not the slightest bit slow...it was AWESOME! I can't tell you what a relief it was to have owned it! FINALLY! And then it came time to not only own it...but to put it totally behind me...a quick conference with Dave and Myles on the 3rd attempt and in it went...my final Bench attempt was going to be 120.


Bench 3 @ 1:06:30 (120)
I had no doubts, no trepidation...I'd done 122 in training. But I wasn't cocky...I had been confident in 110 in the previous meet and it completely defeated me, so setting it for 120 made sense. That and EVERYONE was spastic about the length of the pause at the bottom, the head judge was a stickler for a solid pause and she waited to the letter of the rule "until the bar sits motionless on the chest." So prudence was in order, otherwise I'd continue to be stuck with the 110. The bar was set and it was time...down with control...PRESS! And up it went. Fast! Are you kidding me? 10lb bench PR?! After nearly 2 years of 110 haunting me, and I put it behind me by a full 10lbs! YEAH!

Now on to my favorite lift....deads :)

Opening Deadlift @ 42:50 - 270
This went up fast and easy, but something in my initial set up (too close to the bar, we think) had me off balance at the top. I felt it at lockout and felt like I could have easily lost it and fallen forward. I didn't, but I knew I needed to watch the set up on the 2nd attempt. Still - no question on the 2nd attempt...stick with the plan, stay light/conservative on the 2nd so you've got something left for the 3rd....I entered 290.

2nd Attempt Deadlift @ 9:55 - 290
The plan here was to PR my total on the 2nd attempt and lock that in. By hitting 290, my official total would become 605 - 10lbs over my former total PR (it stood at 595). I walked up to that bar owning it..careful on the set up...up! No problem! Set up was better, I was more stable at the top...now it was time to seal the deal...we conference...go for 315 or 320? Everyone agreed 315 felt like the right thing to do - so that's what I entered...a big lift, 5lbs over my last PR.

3rd Attempt Deadlift @ 24:00 - 315
Again I spent the time between these lifts visualizing the lockout on this lift. How will it feel to stand up with that bar in my hands, shoulders back - totally locked out with 315lbs? I was aggressive..own it! own it! I went out again, deliberate on the setup, no mistakes, solid arch, chest up and liiiiift! As usual a slight stick on the floor and the minute it broke the floor....up! YEAH!

315!
A new total PR...from 595 now to 630 - HUGE!
A PR on every lift!
9 solid lifts! I've NEVER gone 9 for 9 in a meet!
Myles and Dave both said "you had at least 320 and I think 325 in you!" On that, I do agree!

What a day...I'm still on cloud 9. Nine for 9 lifts....

That night we had to drive back from Tampa...a minimum of 4 hour drive. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts before heading out of townand I grabbed a bottle of milk (chocolate, 1% yummmm) and a big fat blueberry muffin (and one chocolate munchkin). That held me until we got back here and we grabbed some pizza. I was pretty exhausted - dropped my folks off at their condo and came back here to crash.

My body was wiped, but my mind could not shut down (probably the caffeine from the Spike) and I didn't sleep too well - thank goodness I'm off today and tomorrow :)

Today I feel like I've been hit by a bus, but I'm happy about it. I learned that my 315 deadlift puts me in the Top 20 Female Deadlifters in my weight class...I'm now ranked 15th in the country for the Unequipped 148s! I went to the grocery store today and that's about it. Just woke up from a nap and still feeling pretty tired, so I'll continue to take it easy the next day or so.

Dave says he wants me back in the gym on Wednesday and will send me my new training program soon. I honestly can't wait :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

RAW United North American Open

I'm just wrapping a few things up here and then I am OFF! 5 days of vacation...very much needed.

Tomorrow is the drive over to Tampa, Saturday is weigh-ins and then some long lost family stuff (long story ;) and then Sunday is THE day and I am SO FREAKING PUMPED for this, I can't even tell you! YEAH!

The meet will stream live on the net on Sunday, if any of you want to tune in! I love knowing you guys are cheering me on virtually so if you CAN tune in even for just a short while, I would LOVE IT!

The meet starts at 10am EST (remember to Fall Back this weekend/Saturday night) and I am in "Flight C." I am thinking my first squat will be around 10:40 or 10:45am. I'm the ONLY chick lifting on Sunday (long story #2), so you won't be able to miss me when I'm up, hahah ;)

Anyway - if you want to, you can tune in here!

I'll be back Sunday night and can update then :)

I think that's all! YEAH so ready and excited I can hardly contain myself at this point, heh heh....I feel SOLID!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Meet Approaches...

Ok here we are with less than 2 weeks to go! I'm getting that giddy kind of excited for this meet (and let's not play - the time off around it too)!

I've got 4 training sessions left between now and then and tomorrow is the LAST big deadlift day. The past few weeks I've had a tendency to lose my back positioning at the start of the lift, so tomorrow I really need to nail it. Myles suggested that it seems I've slightly altered my set-up, trying to arch and set the back and hold it while I grasp the bar where as before, I would bend over, grab the bar and THEN arch and set my back.

Usually by now I'm all going crazy with trying to figure out attempt selections, but I'm feeling confident in 5lb PRs across the board, with potential decisions to go for 10 depending on the look/feel of the 2nds.

That said...here's the tentative plan:
Squat: 170, 185, 195/200
Bench: 100, 110, 115/120
Deads: 270, 290, 315/320

With the 5lb gains across the board I'd hit a Total PR of 30lbs (the PR's from my last meet don't "count" since I bombed the bench) which would be HA-UUUUGE! But I believe I've got a 200lb squat in me today, and I know I've hit 122 in bench training *at least 3 times* so 120 is in there too. It's just going to be a matter of what I've got in the tank THAT DAY.

This meet will be live streamed on the net as have the others. I'm super stoked though that my parents won't be tuning in through the internet this time, they'll be there for all the live action! Hahah...probably much to their horror LOL ;)

As far as nutrition, weigh-ins, etc...I've been really good with my non-plan plan the past few weeks of only logging food at the end of the day, eating when I'm hungry, etc. My wt has *stabilized* (I say that begrudgingly, in all honesty) right around 145. I'm starting to feel anxious about that...like the voice in there is starting to get a little louder "you're too close it's too close" to the cut off (148) but I'm trying to stay focused on my overall health and feeling good and just being STRONG for the meet! What a concept. It's not that I don't GET the concept...I am still just not comfortable at this weight. I know, it will come...be patient, be gentle...it will come, right?

Right?! Repeating..."Everything I eat turns to health, beauty, strength and love."

I thought I ate really well before the last meet, RC says I still had a lot of room to improve. I should probably ask for some tips...

I can do this :)

Start the countdown...I'm bringin it, all of it this time - nothin' left out there!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Step (or maybe two!) Forward...

Not even sure when I last wrote, but I feel like it's been a solid 2 weeks.  And wow, hahah...I feel like so much has happened! I wish I could have kept up here.  I'll try to keep it mostly to summary form, but some big stuff is changing in this crazy head of mine...

Training Updates
Last week I had my last skills evaluation before the meet and it went really well.  Myles came over at 4:30 in the morning (he's nocturnal, LOL) and came along with me - it was awesome to have him there again.  Didn't have to try to give myself commands, got some great cues...it was really good.  I hit all my lifts (and didn't go beyond what I was supposed to do: squat x 185, bench x 116, deadlift x 300) and now the plotting begins for attempt selection at the meet (3 weeks from today)!  That will be another update...

My folks will be coming for that meet, and then here for the rest of the week.  Really looking forward to that visit too :)

Training (the other kind!) Updates
I got my first client with Bloom (which I'm even more behind in updating)!

Work/BodyImage/Eating Update #1
When I came home from ShopNBC I really felt like *phew* ok...I can DO this now.  I have this period of time when I don't have to feel the pressure of "spokesperson" and I can do for me, work on this eating/image thing.  I accepted that I needed a few new clothes because everything was too tight, and sitting in too tight clothes did nothing but remind me I wasn't where I wanted to be, and I couldn't focus on the things I needed.  I had just gotten comfortable with the idea of just trying to listen to me and eat accordingly, and then BAM - our (ex!) PR firm landed me/my story in Health Magazine for the January issue and they wanted a photoshoot ASAP.  It caused a lot of grief, and I went spiraling down into that abyss again when I had to go out for emergency clothing shopping.

Long story short, I had an awakening sort of moment...
Wednesday afternoon in Kim's office we were trying on all different combinations of outfits when she suddenly suggested I try the jeans she had on.  The little.tiny.skinny.jeans she had on.

And it was like this MOMENT...how are these tiny little things on me, these things that fit HER?  My body cannot be in THESE pants.  But they were, I mean I couldn't deny it, and that was when I just thought how vastly different my image/perception/understanding of myself and my body and my SPACE are from reality.

Kim kind of beamed at me with a "See?!" look :)

I told Raphael about it later, still in shock.  "But I look at Kim and I see SUPER TINY..." and he said, "and she IS super tiny!"

My perception of my overall *space* is just...skewed.  A lot. I don't know how to bring them closer together, but until then I know I need to appreciate that my size/space/shape is not what it seems or feels to me.

(this is not so much a summary huh? ;)

Work/BodyImage/Eating Update #2
Friday late morning I started to feel *really low* Like head down on the desk exhausted.  I wasn't "hungry" in a way that I recognized..I was just super tired.  RC, smart man that he is :) says..."eat!"  Hah...ahhh so simple ;)  So I did.  I went out to starbucks, grabbed a tall coffee and a slice of very-berry coffee cake.  Got myself a comfy chair and reeeelaxxxed there for a spell.  WOW...what a difference that made.  I felt great after that!

When I first said I was  tired, that's all I was....tired, low energy.  I was definitely not feeling  "hungry" in my tummy.  But once I ate that little something extra, I got mad HUNGRY.  I would eat and be hungry again within an hour.  So I kept eating!  Later in the day I felt sort of strange...well, different.  My legs felt HAA-UUUGE and super hard/firm.  Not bad, just different! They were solid though, I could feel it IN them, and also hard to the touch...kinda crazy.

Anyway, the hunger continued, it did not let up.  At the end of the day yesterday I logged my food and I had consumed approximately 2300 cals, including almost 250g of  carbs.  I slept well, and when I woke up I just knew I was down...yup!  Down from 144.6 to  144.0!   Still hungry, but I feel fantastic :)  My legs were still "hard," although not quite like Friday.

I think this was a breakthrough for me in eating and listening.  Well it wasn't to start, since I still had to be "told" to eat...I missed some sort of cue there.  But once the ball got rolling...I went with it. 

Work/BodyImage/Eating Plan
I plan to continue with this again this week.  Last week was all about journaling the food at the end of the day, and observing.  No judging the numbers, just *observing* and just the facts.  Separate from the clothing incidents - I was *really* good about the journaling this week & keeping the emotion (and fear) out of it...I logged at the end of the day and observed how I felt the next and what changes there were if any.  So 2300 was what it was, and honestly I never at one point felt overstuffed and really just continued to feel better and better as the day went on, so it made it easier to just say ok...it is what it is!

Following this "plan" (as the extent of the plan is just logging at the end of the day), my weight went from a stupid high of 147.8 (Monday, after a day of accidentally undereating ~1100 cals) to a recent low of 143.4 today.  I've also "listened" more and laid off the beatings workouts a bit when I was feeling really tired and needed to rest.

Observation continues...I think this is all forward progress, and I feel good :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Less Work, More...Carbs?!

Ugh so this morning...hmmm...not such a hot workout.  Not sure if maybe Saturday was too soon to get right back to it or what, but today I was sooo incredibly weak and not recovered enough from Saturday to have any business in the gym.  My back was tight/sore still from Saturday and I could not hold a solid arch to squat.

I worked up to the 3 x 156 but bailed after that after barely putting that 3rd rep up.  Didn't think going up further as the plan dictated would do me any good and I actually felt like I might hurt myself because I could just not hold a tight arch at all.

Bench wasn't much better - at least I did that full set,  but I stopped after that and left the incline db presses and the remainder of the workout (including all assistance work and an entire other round of squats) for another day.  I did at least get some cardio in after but even that was probably not smart.

It was hard to let go of the training, but when I reviewed the video I'd taken of my squats I thought about T and what she would tell me if she were training with me...she'd probably be like "WTF you've got nothing, cut this out"  And if T were *really* there (rather than in my crazy, voices-hearing head!) she probably would have convinced me to leave it a little sooner than I actually did, and probably to skip the cardio too, but hey...small victories.

Anyway - I'm not sure I can convey the level of stress that I had leading up into last week - now that I'm through it I'm starting to feel the effects I think, so I'm well aware I need to play it smart this week.  I wrote Myles and Dave and share this with them as well...I know it was the right thing.

To that end, I was STARVING today.  I mean ravenous.  And I've been trying to continue the "listen-then-eat" thing, and not stick so much to a "plan." And when Dorian asked me if I wanted to get out for lunch today, I heard the voice say "no you've got your food" but I also knew that I could be reasonable where she wanted to go and all would be OK, even if it wasn't 100% comparable to what I brought.

So off we went. And all day I felt perfectly comfortable with what I ate, even the tiny bit of FroYo (it was about a half serving..about 1/4 cup). 

Now at the end of the day, logging everything just to see where I've ended...NOW the doubt sets in.  So that makes no sense.  My body was happy and satisfied with the choices I made earlier, no sense in questioning it now...theoretically, I LISTENED and I ate what I needed.

So...for the record, this morning after another total day off yesterday, I was 144.6

Today's food: 
1570 cals
145g protein
171g carbs (this is of course what makes me nervous)
34g fat

Onward!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three Days Off

It's been *forever* since I've had more than one complete day off.  The trip this week sort of forced it - I hit some cardio on Tuesday morning (1st day of the trip), but with the migraine and total lack of sleep anything beyond that was not a good idea.

I got home at almost midnight on Thursday night and while I had planned on getting back to my training on Friday, I decided that wasn't a good idea when I woke up with a very tired body.

I was initially worried about that choice, since I'm only 5 weeks out from the meet, but then I realized that's precisely why I should probably sit it out.  I could do my deadlift saturday and start with the new week of training on Monday, and I'd be out one workout total.  Not bad...so after I worked that all through I felt better about it.

I definitely made the right decision - napped some yesterday, then went to bed around 10pm and slept in until 8 this morning!  EIGHT?! It's usually a banner day if if I can make it to 6:30 or 7, 8 is unheard of!  I went in this morning for my deadlift/bench workout and it was solid....three days off with a lot of hearty eating paid off, felt really strong and good :) I skipped cardio ;)

Still, I came home and napped - definitely still recovering from last week and all the crazyness leading up to it!

My weight dropped from 146.8 yesterday to 144.2 this morning (that's some crack right there, wtf?).  Today I continued to eat without a plan and while the calories were a bit higher (1685), I came out about the same ratios as yesterday (40/35/25).  I had lots of good stuff - blueberries and strawberries, oatmeal, yogurt, pork chop, and another square of ancho chile pepper infused dark chocolate - mmmm.

Friday, October 1, 2010

And then there was the food...

Because of the schedule, the travel, and the social side of things - I knew eating on this trip would be challenging for me.  I'd been trying to sort of psyche myself up for it, it got hard when my weight went up from my little meal last Saturday night.

I purposefully did not weigh myself before I left, at the recommendation/strong urging of RC - common sense knew that pretty much no matter what it said I would not be happy with it and also that it didn't matter - I had the job to do.  I ate my normal meals leading up to my departure time on Monday, but found myself STARVING within only about 90 minutes of that last meal, which I wasn't ready for - it was surprising.  RC texted me "eat what you need to eat."  Right right...that common sense thing.

So I put all the "rules" aside and tried to live this week in that way.  It was easier to do with little to no structure to the days, and also knowing that there were going to be loonnnnng periods of time between being able to eat.

I ended up eating nearly every meal out, and I ended up eating pretty much just 3 meals a day (versus 6).  They were big meals, definitely more rich in carbs and fat than I would normally choose.  Also obviously the sodium was higher (since we were out).  Both Tues and Weds night out we shared two desserts between the four of us, and Wedsnesday night I had a small glass of wine with dinner.

I found myself really hungry by the time we ate the next meal, despite the previous meal being large.  I was fearful each morning of how my clothes would fit, but they continued to fit fine (well, the same as they had been prior to traveling).

This morning I debated staying off the scale completely, particularly because of all days - yesterday was the "worst."  It was not bad, but relatively speaking, I ate quite "poorly."  I had a large breakfast before leaving for the studio (half egg white, half egg veggie omelet w/light cheese, huge slice of toast with peanut butter, some strawberries, walnuts, and a small blueberry muffin).  At the airport for lunch I had a cheeseburger and fries.  I ate the entire burger (and bun) and maybe half (maybe not quite) of the fries.  I got one ancho chile/dark chocolate truffle from a gourmet chocolate store and enjoyed that with a coffee while I waited for my flight.  In Atlanta when I was trapped for dinner but couldn't go very far from the gate, I wound up with a grilled chicken sandwich form Chik-Fil-A - I ate the bun again and I grabbed a small cone of Freshens "Tart Yogurt" frozen yogurt.  So three squares and that was it - but really...pretty far outside the norm for me.

 Anyway, shockingly (hah), I did NOT stay off the scale this morning.  I was totally surprised to see my weight exactly as it was last Sunday.  To the decimal place - 146.8

I'm not sure why, but I had already been contemplating all of this long before i stepped on the scale this morning.  Just the difference in the eating and how I was feeling and how my clothes were fitting - how that didn't change dramatically during the week.  Wednesday night after the two shows - two shows of talking about how important it is to not feel deprived, to enjoy your food, to allow yourself variety (and the entire time being fully aware of the irony of my statements), and following my dinner meal of Poached Pear & Gorgonzola Salad and a faaaabulous pork loin dish that was absolutely drown in oil or butter or some sort of sauce, a glass of wine and several bites of dessert...I fleetingly thought "I can do this."

And then I got home and I see that I DID do it.

On the other hand I was relieved and happy to be back to "normal" today.  It's interesting though because I didn't go completely normal - I went with what felt good but with more normal food choices.  I logged it all just now, after the fact, and I came in at 1524 calories with 40% protein, 35% carbs, 25% fat (including one square of an extremely dark chocolate bar w/ chile pepper).  Which is interesting, because like the week, overall it's carbier and fattier than "normal" for me.

No conclusions, no big declarations to make - just observing and feeling and trying to stay connected to me.

Back to training tomorrow :)

ShopNBC - the Run Down

So I'm back from the crazy trip to Minnesota for my first TV appearance - Guest Host for eDiets Meal Delivery on ShopNBC (this was show #2).

Travel out to MN went fairly smoothly and I met some GFs from eDiets for dinner that night. Girls night out in MN! Hah..can't find one of those here, but send me to Minnesota...lol. I had met Nancy once before 3 years ago (seriously that long?!) and Pratima once just about 2 years ago. Karen I hadn't yet met although we had spoken on the phone - what a wonderful person, so genuine and beautiful :) We had a really nice time!


Tuesday was over to the mall to get a manicure just in case there were any hand close-ups! I started getting a headache in the salon, not sure if it was triggered by the smell in there, but it certainly wasn't helped by all that. Then over to ShopNBC for training...I met with their legal team to get briefed on can/can't say and then I met with the first Host I'd be working with the next day. We sort of went through the show flow, but a lot of it wasn't finalized still. Despite things still being up in the air, it did make me feel a bit better. The headache was getting worse, took a bunch of excedrin migraine and I ate a zone bar hoping maybe I was just hungry and that would help. I met up with Kim and the food stylist and the food was looking fabulous, and then we found Connie who had just finished HER meeting with legal.

We made it back to the hotel around 6 and met up with Gina then went off to dinner. The headache was continuing to worsen, food was obviously not the issue. We went back to the hotel to do "wardrobe." Connie volunteered to try to massage the headache out of me...which I gratefully accepted. It felt better for a bit but that relief didn't last. Around 2am I was in agony and had already taken well over the limit of excedrin migraine for a 24 hour period in about 12 hours, so I went downstairs to see what other drugs were available. I paid a small fortune for some advil and tylenol and popped 3 of each. That took the edge off enough to let me sleep a few more hours.

Was up early and had a solid breakfast, and then Kim and I left for the studios at 7:30 and met with Rob, our make-up and hair guy for 8am. Once my hair and make-up were mostly done, they found me a quiet room with a day bed in it and I laid down in there until about an hour before the show just trying to stay still and keep the head under control. The other girls were in hair/make-up during that time. When I finally had to get up, I downed another cocktail of excedrin migraine, tylenol AND advil and got dressed. About 30 minutes before the show Rob did hair/make-up touch-ups and "gave me lips" LOL

Sound guys came around about 20 minutes before the show to hook us all up. Had a few moments with Lynne (the host) and a pep-talk from Kim and then it was all kinds of lights, camera, action! GAAAAAAAH!

The rest is history! I did my best, and I think each time I went on I improved a little over the last. After the first show we got some lunch (much needed) and then I went and just laid down in my hotel room (with more drugs) until we had to get back to the studios.

I got some hair extensions for the 2nd show - check 'em out:

After that, I went back to bed.  Kim came in and gave me another hit of the drugs and I stayed quiet a bit longer, before going back to change into my evening outfit and get more "lips" :)  I was FINALLY starting to feel better!  Met with the next host briefly, and the next thing I know we were all getting mic'd up again and then BOOM - ON!

Connie and Gina were fabulous for their parts - some nerves showed through for all of us.  We also had some fabulous call-ins from other eDiets members who are currently on or have been on our program - Holly, Victoria and Brooke took their turns on Wednesday and they totally rocked it.

When it was over we got some feedback from the producer and then we changed and cut out of there - back to dinner and the hotel room.  Early call time on Thursday.

More of the same on Thursday, I felt like the Thursday show went the smoothest, at least form my point of view.  Maybe that's because I was feeling a lot better.  We had Tina call in that day and Connie and Gina were even better.

When it was all over - what a relief/release!  Here we are, all dolled up and DONE:

Kim and I were off to the airport.  I had a bajillion travel delays and issues, but ultimately - when i got home I couldn't have been happier.  Took the day off today (for the most part, a few hours from home this morning) - no training, nada.  I napped.  I was exhausted.

What an amazing, crazy week.  Amazing, crazy life - actually.  Don't really know how I'm "here" and doing what I'm doing.  I feel pretty blessed.

Thoughts on food to follow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ShopNBC Update

I'm not sure if it changed or I had it wrong all along, hahah..can we say too many balls in the air?

Anyway! My ShopNBC debut begins at NOON (Eastern) on Wednesday 9/29, not 10am :)

The other shows (7pm(E) on 9/29 and 10am(E) on 9/30) remain the same!

You can view the live stream here

Our product/order page is now up too! OMG this is real hahah!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shop & Drop

Well here we are, back to one post a week! Gah.

This week I've been pretty focused on work trying to prepare for the big event, my big debut on ShopNBC next week! I'm leaving for Minnesota tomorrow early afternoon and I'll be back late on Thursday.

I'm not freaking out anymore, starting to feel comfortable with all this but I do have moments when I feel like the ground falls out from under me - or like your stomach does that flippy thing sometimes if you go over a hill juuuuust right in the car ;)

If you're interested in tuning in, you can do it in two ways:
You can go here to find the local cable channel for ShopNBC -or-
If you don't get it, or you're at work or something, you can watch it live online.

I'm on Wednesday 9/29 at NOON and 7pm, and Thursday 9/30 at 10am (Eastern).

Eeeeeeeeeek!

In Training news, last week Wednesday was my Evaluation day, and I think it went rather well!

Squat - 181 x 3
(I definitely had a 4th, and I think a 5th in me)


I stopped because I was only supposed to do 1, I knew I was pushing it but didn't want to COMPLETELY disobey hahah ;)

Bench - 122 x 1
Take that 110! For realz, with solid pause and everything :) I was supposed to stop at 105. Not an ounce left in that one tho!


Deads - 295 x 1
Totally followed my instructions with deads and only did one of the weight I was supposed to do. The guy that crept in behind me was really a little unnerving, he was super close, and after I locked out the lift I almost fell forward with it, which would have fucked up my back in a big way, thankfully I regained control! This went up FAST and easy - yeah!


So given all that, and given I did it in a calorie deficit (have been dieting for ShopNBC appearance, to little improvement - I can't win), Dave changed up my training program a bit, and I start with that on Monday. He cautioned me not to stray from the program or I risk not being at my best for the meet, so I'm going to be better about that from here on out...6 weeks baby!

I did manage to come down with the lower calories once RC and I swapped my carbs BACK to what they were from the 40p/40c Christie had wanted me on. After this training day on Wednesday - I had a tough time recovering. Needed energy to come back up so had a SMALL (and homemade I might add) cheat meal of a ~5oz burger (93/7 ground beef) on a 100cal Sandwich Round and a small serving (relative to a restaurant) of steak fries and gained back 2 of the 3 pounds I'd lost. Feeling gross and bloaty but resigned - can't fix it, it is what it is. I'm functional again, which was the point.

Right now I'm trying to just relax a bit. I have a lot of stuff to continue to review for ShopNBC, but I need to just BE for a few. I have a kitty on my lap, I'm all packed and the house is finally clean (cleaning rampage this weekend) ... maybe some yoga to try to center...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Catching Up

I do hope that I can get back to this more than once a week at some point soon!

Wanted to hop in and catch up, lots going on these days...

Between trying to get Bloom Fitness up and running, training, and my regular day job - I've been burning the candle, as they say...

Training updates: new bench PR, solid paused rep (twice!) at 122lbs! I think that was Wednesday. Friday I had a *terrible* workout, i was exhausted and I had just nothing to give.

I have this TV thing coming up in 10 days - I tried to just trust and go with it and keep things as Christie asked me too, but I was not.losing and I have to for this. It's my job, and not only that but for ME to feel confident up there, I need to be comfortable in my skin. So I felt like I had no choice...consulted with RC on Tuesday and we changed things up a bit. I had been hitting 1500-1550/day with a ratio of about 40/40/20 but it had my carbs up way high..higher than I was comfortable with to begin with, but I was trying to trust that it would be ok. Basically took my carbs and my protein and swapped 'em (not quite), and carbs are down to about 140g/day instead of the 170 where they were (!!). Protein came up a bit and calories dropped by a total of only about 50/day. So since Tuesday I'm down 2 pounds after an initial loss, 3 day stall, and finally a loss this morning.

I'd like to hit it closer to 140 (who am I kidding - ideal would be 137ish), but...with my time frame that's not going to happen. I noticed the hit to energy immediately and in a big way, buuuut...for now I'm just pushing through. 10 more days, I can do it.

Relatedly - wednesday's workout this coming week should be interesting. It's the "Skills Evaluation" for this new training program I've been following, we'll see how much my strength is affected with this deficit I guess. This isn't ideal, but I shouldn't have gained so much to begin with. The plan now is to get down and STAY down (as if that hasn't been the plan all along) - so done done done with these wild swings. Once I get under that 140 that's IT - seriously. It won't go like this ever again, trust, no trust - whatever. I just can't.

Also on that note, I AM proud of me today because I am taking an off day. Given how fatigued I was on Friday and yesterday, even though part of me wanted to say "suck it up, there's wt to lose before 9/29!" I have, so far, abstained from exercise. I MAY hit up some yoga later, but just for restorative purposes (shoulders, hips especially).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday's Training

OMG - it was amazing :) I hadn't had a workout like that in a long time, major pump action and I felt crazy strong!

I guess it's all working, although how much is the straight program I've been given vs the program + me doing some of my own thing....eh :)

I apologize for the sideways vids, I didn't have the software to flip 'em when I uploaded them.

The workout as was written, plus the stuff I added in bold:

Bench (all paused reps)
4 x 55
4 x 66
2 x 3 @ 77
3 x 3 @ 88
1 x 115


1 x 120

(don't know what the crazy head thing is, won't do it again!)
But umm....YEAH! Take that f'ing 110 (recall: the bench bomb-out)

Squat
4 x 95
4 x 114
4 x 133
3 x 4 @ 143
8 x 160


Bench (all paused reps)
4 x 61
4 x 72
4 x 4 @ 77
1 x 110:

Hah!

BB Incline Press
(this was written as DB Incline Press)
4 x 8 @ 80

BB Plie Squats

2x15 @ 75

Good Mornings
3 x 5 @ 80

Cable Crunches

2 x 15 @ 140

500 Jumps (jump rope, about 9 mins)

There's NO REASON I can't hit these in a meet, I don't do NEAR this amount of lifting/warm-ups before hitting bench, and I still hit the 110 after way more squatting (in this workout) than I would ever do in a meet. Granted - it wasn't a maximal squat, but...

This week marks the beginning of Wk 8 of my 12wk program. Meet is November 6/7...can only get better from here, right?! I'm bringin the power!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Busy...

I'm so slacking here and I'm feeling like a total slacker not keeping up but...really it's just been a whirlwind few weeks!

My training continues, that is still on track. It's just been the time to get here and write it up, upload the videos, etc...not so much of that has been happening. I'd like to say that I'm making progress, and in some ways I think i very much am, but in other ways - I just plain don't know.

I emailed Dave last week (I think? Right now it all runs together) and asked how we measure progress with this training approach - how do we know it's working? No real answer...which of course makes me rather nervous. What I have found is that I don't feel this is a very balanced program, and so I've adapted it a little to better suit my needs. I understand the concept of training specificity, but I do believe there's a time and a place to for accessory/assistance work. I also strongly believe that no one program is a one-size-fits-all program, and some adaptation is necessary. I guess I was hoping that he would help me with that, but...

The bank/mortgage fiasco continues. Last week I made an attempt to get help from NACA and that totally failed for reasons that I really can't even get into without completely losing my mind and inciting myself into a bit of a rage ;)

Work is crazy busy and with this big event coming up at the end of September I do feel like it's time to kick up the wt loss...I've been trying to stay centered and calm about it but the time is ticking away now and I've made no progress since my initial loss from dropping the cals. Which...I dunno..that drop was probably solely related to stress relief not so much the calories and well..maybe that's why now I'm not losing. But at this point, I've got not even quite 3 weeks, I'd like at least 5 to go and ideally like 8 to 10 but I know that's not realistic :( So tired of this :( I've not dropped calories further from where I did a few weeks ago, and I have finally worked the macros over to those that Christie suggested (40/40/20) - so I AM learning that my body can trust the carbs (cuz holy cow I don't remember the last time i was on like 170-175g!). It still all takes constant thought and intention...if I don't plan and plan and plan and keep it at the forefront of my mind, my cals (carbs specifically) drop.

Had a conversation with my counselor (the other one, not Christie) yesterday about what defines "recovery." She says it's not that these thoughts will ever really fully go away, but they become less intense, and they don't determine my behavior and drive my choices.

Ok then.

Otherwise, things are going along. I'm slightly sleepless again these days, but doing pretty well with that.

I may have some news to share in the next week or so :) Well I will have news, the maybe part is when I can share it :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yay My Bits Work ;)

Met with Christie yesterday and she was pleased with my choices this past week, and the observations I made about my hunger, satiety, energy, and fatigue. We spoke about options...whether I keep things as is or increase back up...

I asked if she thought there was any risk to me keeping things where they are while I'm trying to learn to better identify and listen to these cues. It's harder for me to identify them (either positively or negatively) at the higher level, and she thought as long as I actually RESPONDED to fatigue and hunger then it'd be ok.

She does still want me to try to vary my meals a little more, we talked about bringing at least one alternative meal component each day (a wrap versus brown rice, for instance). I can do that...

So....yup. Ok. I can do this.

Yesterday was squat and bench day - squats were faaaaabulous and I'm really happy with how things are progressing there. I ended my workout with one big set, 135 x 14 :) I had a few more in me I think...a big change for me...I'm actually starting to *like* squats!



This morning it was Best Body Boot Camp (Advanced Camp). Much fun :) My weight has remained the same since Wednesday until today, I bumped up a half pound, but I'm ok with that since I woke up with my period this morning. Which is sweet! Not normally something I'm super psyched about (heh) but...last time it took 7 weeks, this time 5.5 weeks...maybe I'm on my way to a more normal cycle and maybe that means all my girly bits work!

Tomorrow is another squat/bench/squat day...hope the quads are feeling a little more recovered than they are today :)

Wednesday night I've got a massage and Thursday a good friend of mine from college that I haven't seen in like...well it's been so long we can't quite tell but...a LONG time, is coming to visit through Sunday. We're gonna hit up Lion Country Safari on Friday (cuz I took a day *off* SUPAH DUPAH long weekend!) and then get some snorkeling action in on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to seeing him, I think we're gonna have a blast :)

And with that...it's pumpkin time...headed to bed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wow...6 Days?

I don't think I've ever gone this long without a post, but things have been hectic and I needed some room to breathe and time to collect and plan. I still need that, but it's time to resurface...

Last week I mentioned dropping my calories and the whole to-do around that. The weight started coming off immediately...was it stress or the calories? Hard to tell. Probably a combination of both. Friday I was 149.4 and by Wednesday I was down to 144.2. I actually took a rest day on Wednesday - I just did about 45 mins of light yoga.

Training on Thursday....deadlifts. Yum!
Started with Rack Pulls, then on to Bench, and then some Deads.

I REALLY needed that sort of totally aggressive physical/mental release of RAWRRRRR yesterday so when I was done with my training workout, I did

255 x 10:


Not technically a PR (best was 11 while doing 5-3-1 program ). However, that was after doing only 2 sets of 5. This was after all those rack pulls, alll that benching and db pressing, and then after the regular deadlifts. I say, crazy PR! ;)

My current program doesn't appear to go higher than 6 reps for any set, and most are around 2-4. Just LOTS of sets. It's also fairly light weight, I think I max at 85% and it never gets heavier. I dunno...I just REALLY needed that, it felt incredible. A great release.

But it wasted me. Wednesday night I had actually started to feel a little tired and a little hungry, but I didn't listen to it then. I still had an amazing workout on Thursday, but really by 9am I was ready to fall over.

I thought, "ok...I need to EAT." I decided I'd go out for dinner later..maybe a steak, or nice burger with fries...Nothing too crazy, but something with more calories than I would normally consume. I knew I *needed* it.

Iactually didn't even make it to last night, I went out at lunch with a coworker and had a cheeseburger (bun and all!) and some steak fries. I felt SO MUCH BETTER after that meal, Raphael commented that my color had returned (I didn't realize it was quite that bad), I could think and focus again, and I slept like a baby last night. I also wasn't stuffed from the meal nor did I feel that gross "insta-bloat" feeling, and I still felt hunger later in the day so my snacks and later meals remained the same (in the past I'd probably have skipped them). I also slept very well last night. And felt guilt free, there were no nasty words from that voice.

I hope with time that I'll be able to identify those signals (and trust them) a little sooner than I was able to this time, but that felt like a big step in the right direction. This morning my weight was the same as yesterday, which just reinforced the goodness.

*deep breath*

I can do this.

I still have some hormone issues to figure out...the Dr isn't on the agenda yet. Christie thinks (and I agree) that it will work itself out as i get this eating thing under control.

A ways to go, but getting there :)

I rested again today, just needed a little more...no cardio, no yoga, nada.
Should make for a strong squat day tomorrow :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21

So Coco asked me an interesting question - if lowering my calories doesn't result in the weight loss because it's a result of stress not over consumption...what will I do?

Well the answer is really that I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't help. But just feeling like I'm doing everything I can to take care of it already has me feeling ever so slightly less stressed. Maybe that's bad, a sign of just how "distorted" my thinking is, how off my beliefs about myself are. I feel like I have to apologize for it or something, but it is what it is and it's important to me for a variety of reasons right now. I'm not doing it in secret or unsupervised, I emailed Christie and she replied to go ahead and give it a try but suggested a slight tweak to my macros (closer to 40/40/20 instead of my 45/35/20). I guess ultimately if it doesn't help (and probably even if it does), I'll have to see a Dr. to consider adrenal fatigue as Karen suggested, or at the very least to get my girly hormones sorted out.

Today we took one tiny step *away* from the 150, and the spasming in my back has been significantly less. I took other steps today - started looking ahead to what I want to do next, the ever popular "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" question. Tough to imagine since I have this house I'm stuck with, but I'm not sweating the details at this point. Can't, or I'll just be paralyzed in the "what ifs."

Hopefully the back will remain calm tonight, and another good night's sleep will bring with it a little less stress in the morning.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hiding

I've been hiding a bit. I have nothing good to say, I don't feel enlightened, I don't feel good, I feel a little ashamed and a little angry.

I saw Christie on Wednesday, I had called to move my standing appointment sooner because my weight was just skyrocketing and I thought for sure I must be eating too much. I admitted to not taking a full day off in near 3 weeks out of fear...She calmed me a bit, but said that a reduction in calories was absolutely not warranted, that it was my stress level causing "this." Work, the bank, the weight itself...she cited the muscle spasms I've been having in my back as a good indication that it is stress, that my body is so guarded, preparing for war, that it's holding on to absolutely everything, holding tight.

I wanted to believe her.

I left with an assignment to take yesterday (thursday) off - no training, no cardio. Instructions to monitor my stress level before/after workouts, and workout only if something other than the number was driving my motivation. Also she wanted me to incorporate more yoga, and if I wanted - yoga on an off day would be ok. I wanted what she said to be true.

I took yesterday off, since I said that I would. I did do about 20 minutes of gentle yoga last night, in an attempt to soothe the back.

This morning I woke up at 149.2 pounds, up TWO POINT TWO pounds from that day off, thankyouverymuch.

I can't do this. I sent Christie this email earlier this evening:

I can't be here, I can't - this isn't right! SOMETHING is wrong. This is why I can't take a day off. I wanted to trust but after that...something isn't right :( I dropped my cals today by 250, I can't keep this up - I can't.

1550 cals
180g protein (45%)
135g carbs (35%)
31g fat (20%)

Maybe I'm not ready for this...it's hard for me to understand why it's not ok for me to want to feel my best and be at a weight that I am comfortable at if that is not an unhealthy or unreasonable place. I'm sorry I can't be happy with me like this, I just can't, this isn't where I feel good, it's not how I move best - it's not even helping me lift more - I get nothing from this except bloated ankles and marks from my too tight pants and bra around my waist and chest :(


I have to fix this. No w/o vids, I can't even look at them.
But they're done.

I was off from work today (soooo very needed) and had a massage. Filled an Rx I got for the knee that I never took today, got it for the back spasms that have been keeping me up all night. Hopefully that will help. Hopefully the massage helped. I also got some biofreeze. And lots of icing. I'm not injured, because after all of these things (ice, rest, massage) the pain goes away completely. It's totally stress induced and I can feel it tighten as the day goes on. The more I tense the more it contracts and the more tense I get, etc...vicious cycle. Hopefully the Rx will interrupt that cycle and I can get some relief. And much needed sleep.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where I Am Right Now

A number of things are going on right now that are kind of big and scary and that in order for me to successfully navigate, I need to continually bring myself back to the right here, right now.

You all know what's up with me personally, and that continues. I called Christie this morning and asked her for an earlier appointment if possible (I don't see her until Saturday), but she is booked up. She reminded me early this morning to try to just stay focused on NOW. It was good timing.

This is a big week for us at work, our new commercial is going out to the stations and should be hitting the airwaves very soon. Peek:



We *finally* made the announcement of our partnership with the Biggest Loser (we filmed that commercial when we were in Portland as well but it's had to be on the down low until today).

But, even with all that good, there were casualties. We took a big loss today, we were surprised by a round of layoffs. I'm not going to elaborate beyond that, but...it was a *very* difficult day. And I'm fine, I survived (as did most anyone you are wondering about if you are reading this), but...

So where am I right now? I'm on my sofa with my beautiful Ms. Lily snuggled up by me:

From Blogger Pictures

Lots of love and support from all of my family and amazing circle of friends, safe with a job that (despite the stress) I do love, in a home that (despite the stress with the bank) I also love...

I am O.K. right this very moment. Very capable and aware. Tired, a little angry, very sad, kind of frustrated, a little anxious...but really...safe and OK.

Christie didn't have any earlier appointments for me but she will call me if something opens. I had an amazing workout this morning and I know I am getting stronger and improving my technique. I have a world of opportunity waiting to be explored.

I'm on the right path, even when I get confused and think I'm not.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Everything I Eat Turns to Health, Beauty, and Love

Last week Christie asked me to start trying to say some affirmations when it was time to eat. She said I don't have to believe them, just say them out loud. She gave me a list of some to choose from, wanting me to find one I really felt and connected with. I did use them, but none of them felt good to me. Yesterday searching the web I found this one, "Everything I eat turns to health, beauty and love." For whatever reason, that one made the connection, so I'm claiming it as my own. And I think I'd like to modify it to include "strength..."

Everything I eat turns to health, beauty, strength, and love.

I don't believe it, and as a matter of fact as I say it outloud, the little voice inside my head continues on with "actually, it turns to fat and hate." But I've been saying it anyway, and trying to set the voice to the side.

The truth is I am completely out of control and I don't know why. I'm really warring with myself and I don't know how to stop it. I can't "let go" when every day the weight goes up up up. Here it is ready? Today I was 147.2 pounds. I was 138 when I came home from the commercial shoot at the beginning of July. What IS this? Everything I eat DOES turn to fat, excess unused energy getting stored away? Am I doing anything differently than I was before my last meet, after my last meet? NO..my training is a little different but WHAT THE FUCK, am I allowed to say that? WHAT THE FUCK, I feel punished. Not working hard enough? What is wrong with me? I mean seriously am I eating in my sleep? Yeah I'm ANGRY, I feel betrayed, I feel like all this is doing is reinforcing WHY I CAN'T LET GO, ever. And what makes is worse is that I haven't actually let go. I'm NOT going out to eat, I'm NOT eating crap, I'm NOT eating more or less than I should be (well apparently I am) ...

I sent Christie an email this morning, I feel desperately out of control. I can't let this keep going, I can't let it get any worse. I just asked her to please help me stop this, if we could get together sooner than next Saturday and review what I need to be eating.

So far today, I don't know what the "right thing" is, everything inside of me says STOP EATING but everything I know says KEEP EATING and I'm so tired of it. I am "just eating," saying my little affirmation in tears and just DOING it. I'm not really sure that's particularly the "right way" either.

I did overkill the workout this morning, probably. I used my new jump rope for about 15 minutes, ran for 35, jump roped another 5, and then did my new Rodney Yee "Yoga Burn" DVD that was 55 minutes. The Yoga DVD helped calm me down some...

Friday's workout was bench/squat/bench. It took a full 2 hours so once again I did not have time to fit my cardio in at the end. I was definitely fatigued and it was a real push to get through the workout. Despite that, even after all that benching, I was able to increase the weight from 35 to 40lb dumbbells for the finishing sets (4 sets of 8) of incline db presses. That was a HUGE score. I'll work on pausing those now.

Tomorrow I've got squat/bench/squat on tap.

For the rest of today I am going to focus on NOT panicking and on my newly adopted affirmation, whether I believe it or not. And I am reminding myself of why this journey started...

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” - Joseph Campbell

Well I'm STILL down in there, but I'm coming up, and I'm coming up with my treasure...true happiness.

Everything I eat turns to health, beauty, strength, and love.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Taking Back Some Power

One of the things that my little "episode" this weekend helped me to see even more clearly than before is my need to feel in control. I don't like to feel powerless (not that anyone does but...); I get restless, I feel caged or trapped, panicky.

Earlier in the week last week I received a FedEx from Bank of America. This is part of an ongoing battle we've been engaged in for months, trying to go through the Home Affordable Modification Program with Bank of America. The letter within the FedEx threatened that I could "lose my eligibility" for not having returned requested required documents.

That I returned.

In February.

I cannot tell you how in that instant I felt completely powerless. I have been at this with them for months, at their mercy, as there is no other bank that will touch my mortgage for a refinance with a 10ft pole. I'm nearly 200% upside down, for starters. Roadblocks at every turn..it's ANOTHER battle, day in and day out with them.

Today I sent this email to one of their associates who had been trying to help me navigate the process. It details the steps I took on Friday to try to take some power back from them...

On Friday I sent a letter to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan (I know, fat chance he’ll see it but it made me feel better) detailing the timeline that has taken me to this point. I also included a copy of the package of information that was requested and returned to BoA in February (the same packet you have), annotated to note where all of the documents were originally included that were highlighted and deemed “missing” by the latest letter I received last week, despite numerous reassurances that all documentation had been received and was complete.

I sent the same package and copy of the letter to Brian Moynihan, along with an additional cover letter asking for any assistance or intervention on my behalf and on behalf of EVERYONE, for some oversight or SOMETHING – to my Florida (D) Senator Bill Nelson.

Finally, I contacted an Evening News producer and I will be speaking with CBS Miami for an interview tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon about this entire situation. They will be doing an “investigative report” type story.

This has been *17 months* in the making. As such, you can imagine that I am outraged, disgusted, and beyond frustrated with all of this. It is a process with no “process” in place, not one department knows what another is doing, misinformation abounds, documents are lost, all the while people are losing their homes or quite simply walking away out of frustration when, moral obligation aside - it makes NO economic sense to continue to stay. I will not just sit here and be threatened (“…at risk of losing your eligibility because you have not returned the following documents…”) or made to feel powerless over this situation one minute longer.

I may not get anywhere with this, but at least I’ll know that I’ve stood up for myself, and anyone else who’s at their wits end because of this ridiculous process. MY money, YOUR money, and everyone else’s money went into BoA for a bail out, I’ve played and asked nicely for a little help in return, and I’m getting roadblocks at every turn. I’m done playing nice, I’m done playing patient, and I’m done banging my head against the wall. At this point, I want an answer – yes or no.

I very much appreciate the help you’ve provided me so far, but I think you’ll agree that this has really gone on long enough. Thank you again for your help and understanding,

Cathy


Getting all that stuff out and dealt with on Friday was certainly a huge help, but I needed more of a control fix, so Saturday - well..I set out to control the thing that I could the easiest and fastest...control fix = ahhhhhh. It quieted all the chatter in my head, at least temporarily.

In other news: My lil' Sweetpea is high.as.a.kite! right now on catnip ;)

In OTHER other news, my training today was faaaabulous. I'm exhausted, but it went really well. Myles will probably tell me differently, but watching my form on some of these sets, I feel like I'm still making some really good progress :)

Here's one for your viewing pleasure ;) The last of a bajillion total sets!
133 x 4

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gave In...

I gave in today, in a big way. I've knocked so far at least 300 calories out of my day and I did double workouts...once this morning at the gym, and just a little while ago I completed Ultimate Victory workout on my Boot Camp DVD. Physically it feels good. I feel like I did "enough" and now everything will be ok. Emotionally it feels good too...like "ahhh ok we're back in control now...we can fix this." Intellectually - I know I've given in and I know that at least on paper, it's not in my best interest.

I've been fighting this all week, really feeling completely out of control. My weight has been making me feel like I've completely lost control when it's been up for no reason that I can identify and feeling so FAT. And TRYING to be ok with it, TRYING to at last fake it through by writing those little notes and sending them back to myself, staying off the scale (even if only twice)... but it's soooo hard when I feel so uncomfortable in my skin...with my clothes being tight and feeling self-conscious like EVERYONE can see it, my weight belt...blah blah. Maybe it was work and the bank stress just pushed me over...maybe I just needed the fix :(

I know I have a problem, and my comfort is restricting. Or working out too much. Or both. Just like anyone else who eats emotionally, or drinks or uses drugs. I see that now. Christie told me today (yup, I saw her TODAY and still here I am..) that if I *did* give in, that I would probably try to convince myself that I didn't care...and I am doing just that, it feels honestly so good that I want to say I quit, I don't wanna do this anymore. That's supposed to be bad right? But it feels *good* I know how twisted that must sound. The voice is trying to soothe me too..."it's going to be ok, when we get this extra weight off it will be ok." And I know that's not true but jeez wouldn't it just be a little easier? This is so-freaking-hard. I thought I battled with myself before but this week has been so much...I'm so tired.

Feeling pretty much like a huge disaster right about now, completely in pieces and I know it was my choices today that got me here. Christie recommended today that I add a regular counselor in to my treatment, and she gave me 4 or 5 names to look into.

I don't know what this is, confession session? I just needed to get it out...there's not a lot to say I guess.