Saturday, June 26, 2010


So Dave has yet to get back to me, I'm starting to worry maybe he wasn't serious when he offered to coach me. On the other hand, I'm not really ready to go until next week when i get back anyway, soo...just trying to go with the flow for now.

I am anxious to really start lifting again, so I will do a good w/o tomorrow, and will try to fit one in while I'm away, although the time is looking really tight. The hotel says it has free weights, but I called today and I think it's really just much more of your typical hotel gym. There's a gym just 2 blocks away at the guest pass price of $10 but I don't think I can swing the time even at the crack o'dawn. We do what we can...

I saw Christie today, short session but I'm glad it was there. Feeling a little crazy with this week upon me...we talked about that interview I did last week, where I remembered/realized all of the *things*

I told her I'm afraid to stop DOING. For so long I worked towards this weight goal, or that running goal, or becoming a personal trainer, or getting my master's, or moving, or finding a new job, or x, y, z, and 1, 2, 3. Somewhere I lost sight of the amazingness of how all those things felt and forgot to just BE in them, to just feel them and celebrate just where I was...pause before moving forward. So for 10 years now or so...push push push...stronger, better, smarter, farther, faster, harder...there's always MORE...she said she really wants me to focus on just being more connected to the here and now. This goes back to appreciating my body, and all the little things it does every day for me.. Nothing wrong with setting goals, but the closer I am to the here, the now, the ME TODAY, the more connected I will feel with my body and what I REALLY want, instead of just go go go go go all the time on auto-pilot, and because it was part of some plan. She said, "You're a human BEING, not a human doing."

She asked me how I thought that felt, I told her - scary. It feels a little like settling, or giving in, or becoming passive, or..I don't know what, it just feels a little scary.

She asked me if I thought about any additional foods and adding them back in to my diet. At the meet last weekend I had some apples, Fuji apples. They were *really* good, so I said apples. She thought I should think about adding them back into my diet...I hesitated, "now? before Tuesday?" (Tuesday is the shoot day). I feel like an asshole writing that, but I'm not hiding this stuff anymore...YES, I've cut apples pretty much completely out of my diet. YES I'm afraid right now to add them back in. We agreed I could try it on Wednesday, and to better balance it add a string cheese to it. And not change anything else (meaning, don't cut something else out to "make room for" the apple + string cheese snack). I was afraid of the milk, and that has worked just fine and it feels really good. I actually *enjoy* that might be the only one. So I have to just trust that this will be just fine too...

Today I got the house straightened up, did all the laundry, and got some sunshine. Tomorrow I'll need to actually start packing (ugh), and deal with the sheets on the bed and fun stuff like that. Hopefully a touch more sunshine before I go too :) I got Carol to come back and check on the kitties while I'm gone, she rocks :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24 Subjectless :)

Soooo sleepy tonight! I just haven't posted since my meet recap, so I wanted to try to squeeze one in.

When I got back to work, I hit the ground running and have not stop. We have a big thing going on next week, I'll be flying out to Portland, Oregon on Monday and not back until late Thursday night. It's all coming together, but right now it's a real push and I've just been slammed morning, noon and night!

I emailed Dave and let him know I'm so ready to get started as soon as i get back from Portland. Actually I told him on Tuesday the 6th. What a great way to dive right into my 35th year of life, eh? :) I ordered my fractional plates and I'm super excited for their arrival tomorrow. Haven't heard back from Dave yet, I hope he's still willing to coach me.

I got back to the gym yesterday. Monday I just went out for a light walk, just really to get some movement and try to keep from getting overly stiff. Tuesday was a good brisk walk, and then yesterday I hit the elliptical again. Today I did a really light barbell workout and some more time on the elliptical. It felt good to get back at it in the gym :)

I was super proud of myself for my food intake over the weekend..pre-meet, during the meet, and after the meet. RC asked me how I thought I did and I proudly showed him my journal...says I still need a lot of work there. Not enough carbs, not the right carbs, etc...and all along I felt like I was just shoving them down. I was really upset about that at first, but I know it's a process...*process* Not gonna be perfect right out of the gates....I have an appointment with Christie on Saturday..good timing, I feel...antsy. Today I noticed I started cutting things OUT. I haven't logged food though since Friday :)

So that's that..easing back into the workouts and building back up to some volume and intensity...not sure how being away for a week will work into that but...I'll make it work. The hotel we're staying at has a decent sounding gym, it *says* they have free weights...we'll see I guess :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

9 Minutes

The Facts

I think most of you are pretty knowledgeable these days, listening to me talk about past meets, but just in case, I'll explain a little...

There are 3 lifts in powerlifting - squat, bench press, and deadlift. At a meet, you have 3 "attempts" at each...each attempt builds on the previous and increases in weight, until your 3rd attempt is an all out maximum lift. Many times, a max attempt is some weight a lifter has never even felt before - the max attempt is decided upon by a number of things but namely training progressions, some formulas, definitely some experience (where I'm falling down), and a good feel for your energy on the given day. You give each attempt as you finish the one before it. If you miss one, you can repeat it (assuming it's not your 3rd attempt) until you get it, or you can increase the weight, but you cannot decrease it.

We'll start with a summary: It was a day of highs and lows :)

I went into the day more calm and peaceful than ever, I felt solid in my plans, I knew I had trained hard, I knew I was well rested, I knew this was going to be my big day. Just for reference, Myles had asked a friend of his named Dave to keep an eye out for me on my lifts and attempt selections. Also, I didn't have anyone there to record my lifts, but they were recorded on the live stream. I've put the link for each lift below and in parenthesis with each attempt is the time marker for that lift. The videos load quickly and for the most part you can just move the sliding bar ahead to that marker and watch :)

The goals/plan as laid out ahead of time (always subject to adjustment, based on the things I described above):

Goal 1) Hit PR's on all lifts
Goal 2) PR my total, minimum of 617 to qualify for RUM 4 in January 2011

Planned Lifts:
Squat: 165, 185, 190 (former pr: 181)
Bench: 110, 115, 120 (former pr: 110)
Deads: 285, 305, 325 (former pr: 303)

Actual Squat - 160, 175, 190
Squats are here: squats
160 (43:00): I adjusted my opener to 160 because watching earlier flights, I saw the judges were really sticklers for depth (your hip joint must be below the top of the knee for a passing lift), and I just needed to be sure I nailed it. So I went with 160 on that opener and O.M.G - it was freaking *hard* I fought it, and I got it, but it threw my confidence in my plan for 185. Dave also approached me immediately after that and said "What were you planning for a 2nd?" When I told him, he said based on how that 160 looked, he really didn't think I should go for more than 170 (I told you it was HARD!). But I felt good, I wanted to chalk that 160 issue up to nerves, first lift, etc. Based on the 160, I wasn't confident in 185, but 170? I KNEW I had just nailed 175 for SIX in I put my 2nd attempt in for 175.

175 (51:00): In the video, you'll see me unrack, then rerack, and then unrack again before squatting. I felt I had set up with the bar unevenly placed on my back. I asked if I could rerack and set it up again and was given permission from the head judge. That is totally legal to do, so long as you have not already received the "Squat" command." In my head I was talking myself through it - it's ok, you are perfectly within the rules to ask, now get your sh*t together and just squat it and get it right so you don't look like an idiot now. Once I reset up, I felt it - the hunger had kicked in..that was missing from that first squat - I wanted this lift! So down I went and back up - EASY. WAYYYY easier than the 160! "OK..." I thought, that's where it you're ready!" So when i went to enter my 3rd attempt, I stuck with 190 (despite Dave NOW suggesting I go for 195, hah!).

190 (1:01:00): I have no idea, guys know how much I've struggled with squat, getting my form right in particular. Each time I went heavier I'd have to stop, knock it back again and try again. But then one day - it clicked. After much patience and day it just happened. And it all came together for me in this squat...the 190 went up easy - comments later were that it looked like the leve of effort you'd see in a 2nd attempt...definitely more in the tank, could have gone to 195, etc. have NO idea how that felt, after all this time. I was on cloud 9 and I was ready for 9 solid lifts..not only had I PR'd, I'd never made all 3 squats before, off to an *amazing start!

Actual Bench - bombed
Bench Press is here: bench press
I went back to the warm-up room and properly warmed up. I had no issues, nothing felt unsually heavy or weird or wrong, I was feeling strong, I knew my opener was easy. I did it at my last meet in January as my opener with no problem, and I'd done it in training a gazillion times since then, and done MORE than it in training as a matter of fact. It was a starting point - a means to working up to bigger things.

110 (43:00): I went out there, and I missed it. Not even close honestly. What? How can this be? It was not a matter of nerves, it was not a matter of getting my head in the right place like it was with that first squat, it was *heavy* got a pep talk from Dave, knew I had to get this, Focus. Visualize, see myself there with the bar at know you can do this....

110 (51:00): Miss! Same deal as the first. Panic. No...not going to panic. I went through the same process. Focus, visualize, feel it completing, see that have one shot at this. "This is NOT how you're going down" I thought, I pleaded with myself...the hunger, it was there - I was going after it.

110 (1:01:30): No lift. That's right, not one. The fact was, yesterday, regardless of what i did 6 months ago, regardless of the training, regardless ...yesterday it was *too heavy*

What does that mean? It means I was essentially kinda disqualified. If a lifter misses all 3 attempts in the same lift, it is termed "bombing out," and you're out of the meet. Nothing counts, no records (if set) would count, no totals count..nothing in the books, nothing official - yer out. It took me a long time to wrap my head around this. In fact, I wouldn't say I'm completely there yet. It remains somewhat of a mystery as to how it is possible, given my history with this weight, that I missed it like I did. But at that moment - the fact was, I was out.

Thankfully, the meet director told me that I could still deadlift (I guess that's fairly common). But to me, that was a blessing, because what it made me do was refocus. I needed to stop analyzing how I missed it, why I missed it, what did I do wrong, etc. WHY ARE YOU HERE, you're here to do a THING. You have nine minutes to do that thing in, don't throw them away. GET YOUR HEAD ON and DO IT. I repeated that to myself over and over. I called Tara, I knew she was watching. She reminded me...helped move me on. I got a pep talk from Dave. I got a pep talk from Eric (he was the meet director from the last meet, he lifted on Saturday, and he was the head judge during my session yesterday). I got a pep talk from this guy Mike who had just made a real go at the all time record deadlift for his weight class, at 860lbs, and missed it after pulling 770 and 820 in his first two attempts. These guys had been there, the message: "it's happened to all of us, it's ok, let it go and do your job." Ok then. *deep breathe* So let's warm up for deads...

Actual Deadlifts - 285, 305, 310
Deadlifts are here: Deadlifts
285 (39:00) - this was a key lift, I *needed* this. I needed it for my confidence, honestly I needed it for my ego, I needed it to prove that I could myself together. I got it, easy, no problem. Consulted with Dave - 305 was the plan, 305 it was.

305 (47:00) - Wow...ok where did THAT come from? It was waaaay too hard for what it was, but hung in with it and I pulled until I got it. I knew then that 325 was out, so I was thinking I needed to drop that. Dave came up and said "you don't have 325 or even 320 in you today." I told him I knew that, I said - let's take it to just 310. And 310 is what I entered for my final lift of the meet.

310 (57:30) - MINE. I'm crying now even as I type it, hahah crrrazzzy. When I started this lift, I knew I was getting it, that I was not stopping, that it was going to all the way up because damn it if I was going to miss another lift this day, "out of it" or not. It was a RIDICULOUS battle, but in the end I got it! And it felt amazing. It felt like it took about 8 minutes to pull it all the way up, but I think it truly took about 8 seconds (timing via video not the most reliable way but..), but there was NO WAY I was dropping it, and I didn't.

3 white lights, and that was the only way to end that meet.

The Lessons
(also long! :)

I spent a lot of time going OVER and OVER those bench presses. I was super down on myself for a few minutes there mid-meet, and don't get me wrong, it still burns, but for a while there was a lot of self-doubt and a lot of trash talking to myself. How could you miss something so *easy* especially when you've done it a million times? Especially when you got this with no problem as your opener 6 months ago?! How, why, what...I was also embarrassed, because I had felt so good and confident going in to this and I felt like it was maybe "serving me right" for feeling that way...

But after talking to a lot of folks, revisiting the possible hows, whys, whats, talking to people with more experience than myself...none of it matters. I could analyze it to death, looking at were my fingers ON the rings or just NEXT to the rings, were my elbows too flared, my legs not driving, my concentration off, blah blah...

I'll never *know* but there are some very positive things that came out of this:

Dave offered to be my new strength coach, and he says he does not charge. He believes he can help me a great deal just by changing some things up with my training. Helping make wiser attempt selections based on how my body handles maxing out (he suspects my squat PR caused the bench failure because it took more out of me than I allowed for in my selection).

I learned that there's no reason to be embarrassed, that my confidence was not really misplaced, and to an extent is very necessary for this sport. And this experience - bringing the new training parameters and coaching, should only serve to make room for bigger, stronger lifts and more experience to make wiser choices and learn more about my body.

I learned what I'm made of when I turned that around and pulled it together for deadlift. I needed that. I got an email from Myles today after he watched the videos that helped me to see that...

Objectively and contextually, your last DL was extraordinary. I'm
not going to play down bombing out. It sucks and should piss
you off however much it pisses you off. However, to deadlift a PR
after bombing out displays such a high level of psychological resolve
that's it's hard to overestimate how meaningful and encouraging this
is. So many other lifters throw in the towel after a bomb or
sometimes just after a're the mentally
tougher lifter.

And from that, I learned that I love this and I will keep going with this. If I didn't care about it, I wouldn't be so upset about it. I do know that I gave it 100% of my everything, I started and I did not stop until they took the bar from me every time. And to the eye - it may not look like much, but I never gave up on it...and that's where I'm going to have to end on that...because that's really all I've got to show for it, right? That's what this is about - you do a thing, and you give it everything...

"You start and you don't stop. All your strength, all your power, all your love, everything you got!"

I learned that I can be proud of myself for this precisely because I can walk away with so many positives. I had some HUGE wins...the PR on squat alone was a major win, and pulling it together for the deadlift and hitting a PR there AFTER all that...huge. This is good, this is right...I'm walking away from this one with pride now :)

For a while I have been planning to take some time off. I put my gym membership on hold for the month of July and was planning on Crossfit, no PL stuff for that time. But this morning I was processing all of this stuff and I walked away thinking and feeling .. I don't WANT to stop now, i want to want to PAUSE now...I want to get better now, I want it more than ever.

So some rest this week, easy week is a long week of business travel so probably a little more rest than I'd like but..then I'm going to be ready to hit it hard. I'm emailing Dave next.

I'm ready for my next lesson :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

PL Meet Day 1 - The Warm-Up

What a crazy day today. I'm currently at my hotel winding down, mentally preparing for the day ahead of me tomorrow. But since I have this fabulous webtv interface thingie, I thought I'd use it to go through the day.

Got to the airport right on time this morning, I love PBI airport, it's so....quaint ;) No line for security, but of course my weight belt caused attention and my bag was pulled for search. The TSA guy was super cool though, I told him what it was and he just sort of lifted stuff out of the way to verify and put everything back nicely - not like the last time I had bras and underwear and everything all over the place for the world to see!

The flight over was super smooth and uneventful, and we landed 10 minutes early. In Tampa, I weighed literally LONGER to get my one checked bag (food bag w/gel pack and some other liquids) than it took to fly there! That was frustrating. The hotel shuttle picked me up, my room was ready - all of that was fabulous.

My room is actually a small apartment, it totally rocks - this place was a *steal* I took a brief nap, called and arranged for the shuttle to bring me to the venue...and voila! I was there!

Weight this morning when I left home was 138.6...three days in a row it held steady, I am quite sure that is a record. And that is also a different post, but I am pleased to say I weighed in at 1:30pm at 139.0 on the nose :)

My purpose in staying the afternoon was to watch Mr. Eric Talmant lift (promoter/meet director for the Raw Unity Meet) - rumoured to be going after the all-time raw world record in the 165's at 672lbs. Myles has been assisting Eric with his form plus he's just a super nice guy. I ran into Eric shortly after weighing in and we chatted briefly, I wished him well, and took my seat.

Interestingly, the second flight of this afternoon session had LITTLE KIDS lifting. All were 14 and under and some were just TINY! I commented about one litle girls lift outloud to the woman next to me, and we ended up chatting through the rest of the meet. Turns out, she's there to support Eric! Hah...anyway, her name was Jessica and she is NOT a PL'er but now she is strongly considering it. We had a lovely time, I explained a lot of things to her, she asked lots of questions...seemed genuinely interested in trying. Very cool.

Eric's 3rd attempt squat was nothing short of*amazing* at 500 pounds. He fought for that with everything he had and he earned it, it was awesome! I hope it will be up on youtube at some point soon, it truly was that incredible!

For deads, erik opened with 575 - easy! His second attempt he made the jump to 655, which I belieeve is a 5lb pr over his current record. It looked more like a 3rd attempt weight wise, but he nailed it! He decided against trying to take the record on his 3rd and went with 660 (miss). I congratulated him, exchanged contact info with Jessica (his friend), and had the shuttle pick me up :)

I had a lovely dinner of a big cheeseburger and some fries (and a side salad), and here we are...unwinding.

Tomorrow is my time, everything I got out on that's my time :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Remembering the Path

So I think the word of the week is "appreciation." Remembering all the good over the bad, remembering where you've come from, how you've grown and changed...appreciating the journey of life you've been on....

As I mentioned yesterday, i got the reminder to first appreciate my body for all it does and all it can do, and second, to remember and appreciate where I was and all of the amazingness of the journey that I've been on. I spent some time thinking through some of the most profound...

So this post is my appreciation post, for all of those things, and maybe more, who knows. This is a good place for me to be tonight...recalling all of this.

September 2000 - I remember signing up for when all those first "a-ha" moments had had their way with me. I remember thinking I couldn't do it...

~September 2001 - I remember when i first thought, "well ok, maybe I can"

~January 2003 - I remember joining the gym, feeling super intimidated, wearing huge sweats and t-shirts, worrying about who was watching me sweat and look funny and uncoordinated...but going anyway, and feeling good about it after it was over.

I remember when I bought my first new clothes in a REGULAR store, and NOT in the "womens" section. Size 18, with no "W" :) Hah..pants for work, that didn't have a giant droopy crotch ;)

My first mile! I remember being on the treadmill in the gym, exactly where that was and the view I had but damn it, I can't remember the time. I want to say it was 14 and some change (that's minutes, yup! ;) But I RAN IT, all the way, no stopping. I had NEVER done that before. I ran!

Early Spring 2006 - I remember being so inspired by how absolutely amazing and good I felt, and all the new good that my body could do and feel and experience, and SO inspired by RC who helped me get there, that I decided to get certified as a personal trainer. I remember when I passed the test, and my first clients. I.Loved.It.

While I was scanning gmail to see if I could find that first mile run time, I stumbled on my first 10k time - 63:44 in June of 2006, and then my first half marathon in October of 2006! Goal was 2:15:30 (no idea why I threw that extra 30 seconds on there LOL), I did it: 2:13:39.4

July 2006 - I remember making one of the hardest decisions of my life - the decision to be happy and healthy all around in every facet of my life, and leave my marriage, go after a new job, move to a new city - to take action and actively SEEK the life I wanted to have...

June 2007..TODAY as a matter of fact, this day in June 2007, wow so funny how all of these things come together at just one time, this week for me..this remembrance post, and this anniversary...June 2007 I started working for eDiets. I so wanted to be a part of this company that was so very instrumental in helping me to achieve all of these amazing things. That helped me and my body to FEEL the way that I did, I wanted to give that back in any and every way that I could...

I remember ~September 2008 filming exercise videos..*I* was the model in nearly all of them. ME? Filming exercise videos designed to teach/show other people how to do them. I remember very clearly when it hit me what I was doing.."who *am* i? who am *I* to be doing this when just a few years ago I didn't know what 90% of those exercise were, when I could barely get off the floor for that matter?"

In April of 2009 I lifted 253lbs in the deadlift, that was my starting weight with eDiets...what an amazing high to have "conquered" that weight!

And this time last year, when we filmed the eDiets Best Body Boot Camp DVD. Helloooo...same thing, "who am I? In a workout DVD?!" That is INSANITY. And full of awesome :)

I intend to each day find something that I appreciate about what my body is doing or has done. I won't lose sight again...I don't HAVE to be more more more, I can be happy Cathy, I've made the life I wanted...more should come from a place of joyful choice, because I seek the challenge, not because I'm compelled to keep pushing. That path will never lead to a good place.

As @fat2figure reminded me, "It's a choice, and you decided a long time ago to not ever go back. Now it's time to let go and live the life you've created for yourself."

So funny how all this comes around, comes together at the same time. So brilliant and beautiful :)

This weekend, I choose to lift more weight and put all the training to the test :) I take on the challenge because I want to, not because I have to...this is one I'm sure of, and this weekend I'm planning on lots of moments to remember. I went from not even knowing how to squat less than 2 years ago, to this meet on Sunday I'll be all over that bar at 190lbs! I'm taking 325 on in the deadlift and OWNING it. I can't wait...the high is unforgettable.

I may have internet access from the business room at the hotel, but I'm not bringing my computer, so it's possible I won't be back online until Monday. I know there are so many out there standing by me, walking with me if you will, through this meet. I owe so much to all of my friends and family who have stood by cheering through ALL of this (and it's been a LONG TIME)...and they continue to do so now.

Each time I lift, it starts with a huge deep breath...That's me taking in all of the love and support from all of you. Thank you :)

And just in case - one more time...

Here's where you can find the live stream of the meet!

I'm lifting in the Afternoon Session that starts at 3pm Sunday 6/20 (the Ustream website says noon, but that is pacific time). While this session starts at 3, I've confirmed that we (women) are in the SECOND group to lift in that session, so I don't expect to make my first lift until about 3:30 or 3:40pm.

First up - Squats! Bring it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A-Ha! Again :)

We got up at 4:30 in the morning to go for a hike. I don't know about you, but I can't see a damn thing at 4:30 in the morning. But we started hiking, and by the time daylight began to break we were at the top of the hill, and then I realized, it was the Hollywood Hill! I couldn't believe how high we were. And so we hiked back down and when I got to the bottom I looked up and couldn't believe the hike I had just made. If I had seen what we were doing before we started, my mind would not have allowed me do it. And then he said, "I just wanted you to know you can do anything."

That was a very loosely transcribed story from a woman I spoke to tonight. What a powerful story, it made me think about how many times are we limited by our thoughts. How many times a day, a week, a year, a lifetime, are we held back by our own thoughts?

There was another story she had, it was similar. She was asked to do something she'd never done before, and in her mind she just thought over and over, "I've never done this before" and she doubted...but he encouraged, "you're ready to do this" and so she set out, and she did it. When she was done she was crying! He asked her why...she replied it was because she'd never done it before, and she DID it! He said, "Your body is ready for all these things, it's your mind that is holding you back."

I spoke to her more about her confidence and the changes she's seen...she's new to her body, all of the changes and the things she can do are new, still learning, still exploring...she *appreciates* and she feels absolutely empowered by that feeling.

I *had* that, that joy, that feeling that I could DO anything, and somehow something turned ugly in there. "I can't take a rest day," "I can't eat that," I"I have to do this because otherwise i will gain," or, "I can't do that because I will gain." I've reread a few other things I've written recently, I've said things like.."I don't trust my body" and "I feel betrayed by my body."


There's no joy in the daily "I can'ts" and "I have to's" There's a place for those things, but it doesn't have to be 24/7 & 365 - there's no joy, there's no power, there's no trust. This is supposed to be a colorful, joyful life! Not a drab black and white.

Look at all the things THIS body can do! Look at all the things this body used to NOT be able to do. And not just my body - but my mind! I was empowered, I changed my life, literally, in almost every way conceivable. And now I risk it, I truly risk it, when I don't appreciate that, when I focus on negative, when I choose to doubt all I can do, when I choose not to trust me or my body, and when I let my mind cast doubt.

Today was the day for me to have this realization. Not even a realization, this was a reminder, a wake-up call, and I heard it as recently as yesterday. Christie asked me in my session - "Do you ever *appreciate* all your body does for you?" I couldn't really answer her positively, at least not recently - but on further thinking on our discussion I realized - I *used to* Back when this change and this body was new. I needed a reminder.

But today was the day for it to come actually started long before that conversation. I was at the gym early this morning for my last workout before my meet. I did some time on the elliptical, and then I went into the aerobics room (it's quiet, and dark, and empty) to stretch. I was doing a standing quad stretch when all of a sudden I was able to notice the foot I was balancing on. I noticed all of the tiniest of adjustments my foot was making each second to keep me balanced. I was not thinking about it, I was not (to my knowledge) controlling it - my body was just making it happen. It was a really striking moment for me. Ahhh...LOOK at what my body can do, and I'm not even consciously asking it to do it for me. Cool :) Go foot! Go tiny fine-tuning muscles!

And then this evening, I had this conversation with this amazing person.

The more I thought on this, the more I realized...I *can* trust my body, IT can't trust me! It doesn't know what to do when I work it so hard and I feed it badly. I'm not betrayed by my body...I am betraying IT! With my mind and these thoughts...I'm the one allowing them. This is my mind at work,this is a matter of changing that mind.

I need to recenter, and go back to that center place and remember why I'm here, and where I came from, and everything else I chose to change in the name of my HAPPINESS and my HEALTH, not to mention, remember to love me and trust me, for all my body does for me and for all I need to do to continue to live and love and find that joy again.

I know this is a lesson I will likely have to learn again, I'll probably have this very moment a few more times as a matter of fact. But right now, right this moment, I declare that I am re-empowered - taking it back. I am DONE with the negative and working toward the positive. They might creep in, but the plan is to acknowledge them ("oh! how interesting.."), visualize setting them to the side ("thanks for your input, I'll have to get back to you on that one"), and move on (hahah yeah ok, when pigs fly"). That's the plan.

To cap it off, at the end of this conversation tonight, I went to the support boards and there I found Raphael's Daily Motivator...also an amazing story, but the end summed it up...

"Size up and break through the confining ropes in your mind. When you're faced with change, change your perspective. When you're overwhelmed with something new; change your view. Eradicate limitations and nothing will be impossible for you!”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Streaming Info!

Found it! You'd think it was top secret...

The Raw United Mike Whitmer Memorial Open will be streamed LIVE, right here!

There are 2 sessions each day - morning(9am)/afternoon(3pm) on both Saturday and Sunday. I am lifting in Session 4, which is 3pm on Sunday 6/20. The Ustream site says 6am/12pm for times, but that is pacific time...9am and 3pm if you're east coast :). We (women) will be in the second group to lift in that session, so i don't expect my first lift to be until around 3:30 or so.

The Raw Unity Meet that I lifted in in January was broadcast live, and I can't tell you how awesome it was to know that I had friends tuning in to cheer me on that otherwise would not be able to be a part of that day with me. I definitely drew on I'd be super excited if you could tune in :)

Nearly 6 months of training...less than 1 week away!

Then eventually, it will be on Fox Sports, as this blurby talks about (and reveals that, unbeknownst to me, I'm apparently a "ranked lifter" hah! Cool :)


Yesterday was pretty bad, the last time I felt that sort of panicked and out of control was the pizza day, when I made the call for help. Not every day is that bad, I guess I just need that outlet when it gets that way.

Thanks to all who were there - via email, via phone, via comments and twitter. I really do have the best friends all around.

This is my Power - when I don't have it, I have you. I'm up again today, but I gave nothing to that voice, I had a job to do this morning and it was to go hit my opening attempts, no doubts, nothing but strength and confidence.

Squat Opener: 165

When I first reviewed this, I was concerned on depth - I think it's solid now that I can see it on something other than the tiny lcd on the camera. Still, depending how I feel that day I may change it up to 160. The opening weight is not what matters, the opening squat is simply to set the tone of confidence and capability, it must be nailed. So the difference between 160 and 165 is really irrellevant.

Bench Opener: 110 paused

Solid :)

I did 2 sets of super light seated rows, and 20 minutes of super easy elliptical. I may go for a walk at dusk tonight when it's a little cooler.

I am strong this week.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Maybe I can just TALK it out...

I thought I'd try to just talk this through rather than playing the battle out over and over and over in my head. It's wearing me down and it hurts, and I don't want it IN me anymore. I don't think there are answers "out there" for me today, I just am here trying to express these feelings so they don't keep me all knotted and feeling afraid and paralyzed :(

Rest days are *hard* for me, the day after a rest day is just as difficult. That's why I've been declaring them outloud recently...if I SAY it and make it known, maybe I will keep my word better than if I don't.

When I saw Christie (my nutritional counselor), she gave me some "homework" until our next session. One of the things she asked me to do was NOT drop my calories on days that I'm taking off from working out. Rest days, by the way for those of you NOT in my head (all of you), also include days when I only do cardio. So if I'm supposed to be eating 1750-1800 cals/day on days that I train and do cardio, then on days when I do NOTHING and days when I just do cardio, I need to eat 1750-1800 calories. I had been dropping as low as 1200 and if I did really well maybe 1400. It was my way of compromising..."ok FINE body, I recognize you need a break from being beat to shit on a daily basis, so I will not work you out today, but you certainly haven't EARNED 1800 calories, so don't expect it."

Yesterday was a rest day - full on rest, no cardio, nothing. Hence the challenge began. With each meal, I fought the desire to change something so that I would eat less, or perhaps skip that meal entirely. As the day went on and I was on track to be "successful" in keeping my calories where they needed to be to meet that 1750-1800 calorie goal, the converse thoughts started coming in..."ok I see you're eating like a hog today even though you've done nothing but sit on your ass, perhaps a quickie 30 minutes on the elliptical will make you feel better?" Always nice at first. NO NO NO!

Fine, ok. I DID it. I ate RIGHT. I did NOT do any cardio. I did some rolling on my foam roller and some stretching just to keep limber and from tightening up, but that's it.

Fast forward this morning. Morning ritual: pee, get naked, get on scale. Get off scale, get back on scale. *Hate* scale. Repeat at least 3 times just to make sure that is what it really says. Please don't tell me to not weigh myself everyday, I KNOW this. I can't, not yet. Scale shows me up a pound. Last night before I went to bed I talked myself through this scenario. I told myself "now, listen. You KNOW you're going to be UP in the morning. This happens to EVERYONE, it's normal, it's ok, it. is. o. k."

So I'm up 1.2 pounds to be exact and immediately it all washed over me. Guilt and anger and hatred of my body and my behavior and the "SEEEEE, I told you you should have done SOMETHING yesterday! YOUUU can't take a day off, are you really *surprised* by this? YOU did this! You better not even THINK about another day off because then tomorrow you'll just see ANOTHER pound and then things will be totally out of control and then where will we be?" I always feel so betrayed by my body.

So off to the gym I went...not that it was a planned day off, but I went and I kicked my ass, and then I kicked it some more on the elliptical. While on the elliptical the panic started to set in. What I face the next 3 weeks...what to do? I can't live like this with this battle in my head for the next 3 weeks...serious panic. I reacted by upping the intensity, and crying. Nice. Well it keeps people from using the machines next to me anyway..crazy lady on the elliptical. Thank god for sweat towels.

My mind was going crazy, it still is (that's why I'm here writing :( )
This is pre-meet week! I've GOT to rest. Maybe some cardio and a light full body w/o on Tuesday, but the rest of the and I know I can't drop cals going into the meet, I can't afford that. And round and round we went arguing "but you'll be so fat! or you won't be strong!" Fat or strong, fat or strong, FAT OR STRONG?

And then, then we have post-meet. I already know this, I HAVE to eat to recover. It's killer on my body, I was *wasted* after the RUM in January...totally fried from head to toe. The way out? Food. Rest. Recovery. But that puts me into another week of doing nothing. And eating. Hear this - Food, right now I HATE you. Another week or at least a few days of *gaining* One day = one pound, where does it stop?! And what comes after that? I fly to out to Oregon for a work *thing* ... I can't be at that, I can't be IN that like that, my clothes won't fit, etc etc..."you'll be so fat! or you won't be recovered!" Fat or recovered, fat or *functional* which will it be?!

So, welcome to my head for the past 5 hours, this is my panic. This is really and truly me on a regular basis. This is why I need some help. This is why I feel so *ashamed* because I can't turn these thoughts off. Right now, now that I've put it OUT, I know what I need most is distraction, so that I get out of this circle, LET GO and try to live like a normal person for a little while. Right now I'm THANKFUL that I have a ton of work to get to, because hopefully it will pull my mind out of this. I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon, maybe it will help me relax, let go..unclench my jaw. Right now I cant WAIT until my next appointment with Christie. It's on Tuesday. It can't come soon enough.

She said I don't have to BELIEVE it will get better right away, she said I just have to DO for a while, to practice. RIght now I have no belief, but I am trying my best to practice what I have to do. I am trying to just trust that I did the right thing yesterday, and that I will DO the right things these next few weeks, that my body will respond appropriately when I do the right things for it. I don't believe it, but I have to trust here...I am afraid.

I think this part right here, I think this can be likened a lot to the process I went through to lose the weight to begin with. I knew the right things, but there was no trust or belief that doing the right things would lead me to the results I desired. But they did...eventually. With practice. With a lot of fuck-ups, a lot of tears, and a TON of help along the way. Maybe all those hard lessons learned in that process will help me here. I know one thing that I learned was to ASK FOR HELP and not to withdraw when things were hard. I had people who believed FOR me while I could not...I know I have that support again now. I'm trying to trust in that, and take comfort in that.

I'm not sure this has made it any better.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Everyday Life

Just first quickly on training...muddling through the deload week that has no bench deload because my shoulders are just...weird. They're not in pain, they're just...noticeable in a way that they weren't before. No sense in pushing things now so...they'll just stay nice and rested and bench will be just fine without it. I'm sure.

I was poking around the internet tonight, juust doing some surfing and I came across something about Erik Chopin from The Biggest Loser. Erik was the winner of...Season 3 I think? He started on the ranch at a little over 400 pounds, lost a BUNCH and then at some point in 2009 came "out" that he had gained all the way back up to about 370.

How devestating for him, and my worst nightmare. It's the source of the fear, Ive known this for a long time - gaining the weight back. There really can be no going back!

So still surfing, I found where Erik's former trainer Bob paid him a visit. He said he was worried Bob would be let down or angry with him, he was embarassed to meet with him.

But Bob said some things to Erik that when I read, really resonated deeply with me,

Bob told him that he shouldn’t go back to the “strict life,” instead finding a balance he’d be able to do for the rest of his life.

“You know how to take it off and you know how to put it on — what you don’t know is how to live your everyday life,” Bob said.

Interstingly, I thought I had this down, I thought I had this down for a long time, but the truth is I don't. I wrote about this once before, about "maintenance." I thought I was "in maintenance" when i reached my goal weight, but I wasn't, I wasn't doing "everyday life" yet...I was living exactly the same as when I was "dieting."

Now some might argue that if you've truly made "a diet" your LIFESTYLE, then why WOULD it change? But I'm seeing now why, I'm experiencing now why it should change. Not drastically, but slowly I think, a balance needs to be struck...a little more freedom and a little more wiggle room. Because you can't do "the strict life," for forever...exactly as Bob said. And I made lots of noise about it the day I thought I finally GOT that. Well I guess I got that in theory that day, but what I didn't get was any of the tools I need to put it into practice...I never learned HOW to make it happen.

Quite simply...I don't know how to DO 'everyday life."
For SO LONG I dieted, I did it for SO LONG tht I only know two ways to eat.
The way that didn't work, and the way that did.

The in between..that's the everyday. I have a lot of work to do, because THAT door is hidden under a lot of fear.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Houston, We Have a Problem

Pull up a chair, folks! This is er..long.

So here's the thing...whenever you hear that line in a movie, everyone KNOWS there's a problem long before the alarm sounds and the famous line is delivered. It's BEEN a problem for the past 45 minutes of the movie, and everyone has just been working their hardest to either a) ignore it, or b) quickly fix it before EVERYONE finds out or it gets worse.

So the fact that I'm here about to what amounts to feeling like I'm OUTING myself is sort of like that point in the movie. It's not that I haven't known, it's not that even my friends and probably my family haven't's that no one really is ready to deal with it at full capacity (spend lots of money, bring in the experts, work through the difficulties etc) until it's all official, and the alarm starts ringing.

The wheels REALLY started churning on this one back in March when I met a GF up in NYC for a few days that I was there for a photoshoot for the June Good Housekeeping magazine. She called me out on it, gently at first, and then subtlety went out the window a few weeks later and she laid it on me straight. I got angry and defensive - seriously how could she call me out on my eating behavior when I'm trying to live out of a hotel room for three days in a city KNOWN for the ridiculous food all centered around a photo shoot for a National magazine (about how weight loss changed my life, no less)?! I mean, right?!

We worked it out, mostly because I think I was still in denial, and she knew I wasn't ready yet. I was still in the first 45 minutes of the movie, trying to cover it up and fix it myself before anyone noticed.

Duhh..someone noticed.

Anyway - it was on my mind. My eating. My meticulous eating habits...only getting more and more meticulous and restricted - from food choices to total calories, slowly disappearing carbohydrates...little by little I was eating (hah) away at what I was "allowed" to eat.

And training for powerlifting. Makes sense right?

While most people who follow a nutrition plan are trying to find ways to sneak foods IN, I'm trying to find ways to sneak foods/calories (carbs in particular) OUT. I've been killing myself in the gym, exhausted, not sleeping, having ridiculous hormonal issues, living in brain fog, migraines...

A few weeks back, I had THE moment. It was the moment where my inner alarm sounded, and I guess I was ready. I had a first date set up with a guy. He suggested we meet at Mellow Mushroom, but offered to let me choose anywhere I wanted if I wanted to choose something "healthier." I convinced myself I could do this...I talked myself through it and replied that I'd be happy to meet him there, afterall, i can have one piece of pizza..I can do this! (i left all that out of the email, hahah..."and she talks to herself in email to boot!") That Friday I happened to get home from work about an hour earlier than usual and had about 4 hours to kill before meeting this guy.

I sat there for the entire four hours GLUED to my kitchen chair. I would not move, I knew if I got up, I was going to the gym. For four hours I sat there and had this argument with myself...

Crazy voice: Go to the gym
Sane voice: had a FABULOUS workout this morning, no need, thanks for askin!
Crazy voice: GO to the gym fatass, you're going to have pizza? You think you can just have pizza like anyone else?
Sane voice: Yes, I can have a slice of pizza once in a while, I'm allowed.
Crazy voice: YOU can't have pizza. YOU'RE different! If YOU have pizza you'll blow up like a balloon and gain 13 pounds instantly overnight.

And on it went. I sat there and continued to have that argument with myself in full on tears while I typed out the email to a friend that said "I need help."

I can't fight this anymore, at least, not on my own. I can't live with this fear, and I can't continue to have this conversation, or some form of this conversation - daily. Multiple times. I'm always trying to cheat my body out of the nutrients it needs to function at it's best, to fully recover from the hell I put it through, to function properly (see raging hormones, migraines, exhaustion, etc). Let's not even talk about what it does in my head, the names I call myself, and the fear it breeds in me.

There's so much to say about that fear, but I think that needs to be for another day. This is a lot, it's a lot more than just the TOE I was thinking about testing the waters with. I'm putting some faith and trust out there, that I won't be judged as vain or notverysmart..this is something that is wrong inside me that I need help fixing. I KNOW better than all of this behavior, I know "right" and "wrong" here, it's the action part that I need work on.

I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum from where i started...maybe this time I can find the happy medium.

I took the steps that day to get help from a professional and through a good friend here in SoFL, I found someone wonderful to help. I just may need some extra support the days the urge to do the WRONG thing is a little more overwhelming than others, and the days I want to curl up in a little ball and cry at all that I've failed at because of this. There's a lot of that rollin' around up in this head of mine. It's all there, it's an ugly mess, one that I don't know how I got into - but I'm going to come out stronger for this.

A very dear and trusted friend sent me this message: “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 down in there, but I'm coming up, and I'm coming up with my treasure...true happiness.

*deep breath*

Push "publish" ....

What To Do...Something New?

I guess I'm in what could be most easily equivocated to a "taper." You know you could use the rest, you know it's the best time TO rest and will lead to better results come show time but...UGH it sucks to step it so far back after ramping it up for so long, I just don't know what to DO with myself!

Am I right?!

Well just say yes, please ;)

Sunday I went out for a run, which was a bit of a mistake simply given the ridiculous heat and humidity of the day (even at 6:30am). Monday I did a nice and easy lower body workout and a short stint on the elliptical. Today - 45 mins on my good friend, Mr. Elliptical. THAT is total sarcasm, in case you missed it.

I was planning on a light and easy chest/back w/o tomorrow but for some reason, today, my shoulders started to..well let's just say I'm *noticing* them. WTF is that? I haven't done jack shit to my shoulders since..oh well probably since my last bench day, a week ago. And today? TODAY they start giving me grief?!

Note to Misbehaving shoulders: NOT ALLOWED!

So I think in light of that, I'll just hold up that ole chest/back workout and maybe just go with abs + cardio and call it a winner. In fact, I MAY just not work the ole UB at all until warm-ups the day of the meet, if it needs to be that way.

Which it better not be ;)

Also of note...I've been completely inspired by a few of the folks in the twitter community over the past few days. The wheels are churnin' up in the head, you know that means trouble ;)

But the challenge by my new friend Al @sweating_it_off, a conversation with the lovely @cardioaddict, an entry about Fitting In written by @MizFitOnline really left a lasting impact on me, and the honesty and courageousness of one Ms SkinnyEmmie on her path to health and happiness...just true inspiration right there(that was a lot huh? go social networking, go! bringing it all together and plopping it right in my face right when I needed it most :) All of these moments have made me realize that I'm firmly entrenched in a PROCESS right now, and I need to think seriously about opening up a little more about my current path to health and happiness and invite help, support,and new insights and experience into my world. All that just to say - I need a new view, cuz mine ain't workin' for me.

A few conversations later (ahem Ms @fat2figure) and I've alllllmost convinced myself I'm ready to do this!

I know thus far I've been at best *vague* and at worst completely hidden a lot of the facts about that current path, but I think I may open up a new tag/chapter on this blog, and well - let's really get to talking about eating and behaviors and thoughts and...the truth. At least as it stands for me.

I'll start a little later tonight, after I get my tomorrow organized. It all starts with the first steps...gah.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's that time again...

Noodling the numbers, reviewing the training, consulting with folks...getting ready for this powerlifting meet! I am feeling a difference going into this meet, something I haven't felt before. I feel better about it than any meet I've done, maybe it's just a little boost in confidence that comes from a little more experience...who knows, but it feels good and I'm psyched and ready to go! Two weeks is NO time, but right now it feels like forever - I'm ready...bring it on!

So without further rambling...

Goal 1) Hit PR's on all lifts
Goal 2) PR my total, minimum of 617 to qualify for RUM 4 in January 2011

"The Plan" :)

Squat: 165, 185, 190 (current pr: 181)
Bench: 110, 115, 120 (current pr: 110)
Deads: 285, 305, 325 (current pr: 303)
------- ---------
total: 635 (current total: 594)

So the numbers are subject to change based on the feel of the prior lift...more so with deads than anything else since I don't have a lot of wiggle room (or _any_ hah!) with the 5lb differences in squat/bench.

For those of you interested enough to nerd out with me for a moment, here's the thinking...

First attempts: these set the tone for the other lifts, and particular the opening squat sets the tone for the entire meet. I need to be confident that I can make the lift completely clean and leave no doubt in the mind of the judges that I am competent in the lift, so if there's any question in a later lift, they theoretically should rule in my favor ;) I believe the general rule of thumb is that 1st attemts are ~85% of 3rd/max, but in the case of my bench that makes no sense for me.

2nd attempts: with this plan, all are PRs! Not by much, just a little but all should be totally doable based on the numbers I've put up in training, and hitting PRS here should build confidence going into 3rds :)

3rd attempts: This is what it's all about, each lift sets you up for the big 3rd lift! These numbers are all big PRs over my current but I am feeling REALLY confident in all of these numbers (even squats!). Like I said, no room for adjusting those 3rds on squat and bench unless I adjust it up, and while I wont say there's absolutely NO way that'll happen...ummm to say that's HIGHLY unlikely is an understatement ;)

On 3rd attempt deads, I have to keep both goals in mind - to increase the total and to PR on the lift itself. My deadlift at this point (for better or worse, hahah), is more than half of my total, so it's gotta be as high as it can be on the 3rd attempt, but I HAVE to make it or my Total goes to pot. I will really need to get a feel for that 305 and make the call on 325. If there's ANY doubt after 305, I've gotta remember I'm not locked into 325, I can drop it to 320 or even 315.

That said, the plan for 325 is what I'm going with, I KNOW in my heart right now I can lift that. So unless something major happens that day...

14 days, the countdown is ON!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Not a word that I feel like I can use very often! A lot of people use that word with weight loss, "are you done losing weight?" Hah...well I guess I'm DONE actively seeking weight loss, but no..I'm not done living this lifestyle, if that's what you really mean. Woah, tangent! Hahah...


I'm DONE with my training for the June 19th (actually now, 20th) PL Meet...finished today and it was fantastic. Something special in this, I can't quite put my finger on it, I'm still trying to noodle it out. But there was something big in today...I feel like I'm wrapping that up and getting ready to start down a new fresh path. Not starting over, and definitely not discarding anything leading up to now, but I feel like there's a change a comin' hahah.

Frustrating that I can't yet put words to it.

But ANYWAY - so today was my last heavy training workout for this meet, and it was SQUAT day. The numbers today:

140 x 5
160 x 3
175 x 1+

175 x 6

Last I did 175 was about 6 months ago when I was home in Virginia, just prior to the Raw Unity meet. I fought HARD for the 3 reps I got then, and there was no doubt that 3 was all that was in me, cuz I failed on's THAT (dated January 8th, 2010 - click to view on another page:

(sorry about the neverending end - it's really over after i fail on the 4th squat, the trainer that was spotting me was asking me questions and I didn't turn the camera off)

UUUggggghhhhh, right?!

So while I know I still have a long way to go with form (and strength) with my squat, I can see such a dramatic difference with just these 6 months! On my way...

I'm working on some other stuff too, not ready to really be all 'out there' with it but...Today I took this challenge. It didn't so much open my eyes, I've been aware of the battles I've been fighting, but it did kinda get me ANGRY (with myself), like...ENOUGH all ready, it is time for a change. So in that spirit...I'm trying to own my strengths, trying to let go, trying to move on. Maybe that's why I feel like I'm on the verge of's time :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bench - Complete!

Wrapped up Bench training today...awesome! I'm feeling so much better this week than last, so glad I'm ending on a higher note! I am fighting a migraine off but that is much more an issue in the evenings than it is in the morning for my workout. Right now just trying to stay still, keep things dark, and not move a whole lot until i can take another Rx and hopefully just get some sleep.

I wrapped today with my last 5-3-1 cycle...

5 @ 90
3 @ 100
1+ @ 115

I pushed out 3 at 115, which was great since that's all I managed last week at 110. I rested a few minutes, than made an attempt at 120 for 1. I didn't try to pause it after a triple with 115, but it made me feel very good about my 3rd attempt at 120 at the meet :)

Here's the 115 for 3:

And here's the single 120:

The rest of the workout went well too, although I lightened it up (shoulder sparing), and I didn't push for cardio when I was done. I'll get in a good 40 or 45 minutes tomorrow though, no training otherwise.

Lat Pulldowns
3 x 10 @ 85

BB Floor Press
8 @ 100, 95, 85

DB Incline Rows
3 x 10 @ 25

DB Incline Press
3 x 12 @ 25

Cable High Rows
2 x 10 @ 120

Machine Pec Deck (hah!)
2 x 10 @ 45

Back Extensions
15 @ 25, 10, BW