Friday, September 2, 2011

Seriously, It's September?!

End of Week Training Update
Bench went well on Thursday, i was really happy with this session. The plan called for 5 x 5 @ 110. I went in thinking I'd pause sets 1, 3, and 5, and go touch&go on 2 and 4. I quickly changed my mind on that ;)

Bench - 5 x 5(ish) @ 110


Happy with a good pause on at least the first 3 reps of sets 1 - 4.
On sets 4 and 5 the spot I got was just the tiiiiiniest bit of assistance through the sticking point, then hands off again.

Next week, I'll advance set one to 112 and go for all paused reps, then go back to 110 for the other 4 sets since I'm not quite ready to move on yet.

On to squats! Up to 135 for 5 x 5 on squats and they felt easier and better than ever. I do have one set on video but it's not so helpful so we'll skip it today. RC commented that it was my best squat session so far, that's promising, since squat is his thang. I did well keeping my elbows down and breathing through the squat...I'm excited to see where I can take this the next few weeks!

I've also identified a tremendous strength difference between my right and left quad. My right knee is the one that's frequently messed up, so maybe that explains the difference, but it is VERY pronounced. I'll be spending the next several weeks also trying to correct that.


On Another Front
Mentally struggling a bit with the food/weight thing this week. That's probably an understatement, but...I'm still trying to sort through it all and also I made an agreement with myself today, that the freaking out could resume if I still felt like a crazy person on TUESDAY. Until then...we're trying to chill out over here, and trying not to over-react and make any drastic changes. This morning (before the agreement with myself), I almost called Christie in a panic, but I calmed down and will just leave my already scheduled appointment where it is (9/14). I have to learn to deal with this. I guess that's progress...it is for the next few days anyway!

And Another One
Not a lot of news to share on the job front...a few leads, but nothing of substance, and no interviews...yet!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Letting Up!

Meet Results
Saturday - what an amazing day! All the prep - training, nutrition, visualization...all of it came together for those three minutes worth of lifting. It really is amazing to look at everything that is done in preparation versus the time spent on the platform, but honestly - it is such a rush it is totally worth it.

The day went on considerably longer than expected, but I was still pumped when it was finally time to start warming up! When the flights were posted I was a HAPPY girl to see my name listed *seventh* in the flight of 10 people (mixed men & women). Lifting order is determined by the amount of weight being lifted. Typically, I'm first - opening with the lightest attempt of the group. Seventh was pretty hot, I think I even opened after one of the guys :)

Warm-ups felt a little rusty, but went along as planned.  On my last warm-up (a single at 250), my foot slipped a little on the platform and threw me off a bit. It wasn't a big deal, but being slightly out of position made the lift feel heavier than it should have. I think I allowed that to get to me a little more than I should have, it's hard to say whether it was from that, or the fact that I haven't been on a platform in nearly 9 months that was causing the crazy butterflies in the pit of my stomach waiting for my opening attempt!

I opened as planned with 286.6lbs and it went up! The video makes it look smooth and easy, but to me it felt almost disastrously heavy! It made me uncomfortable with the plan I'd worked hard on going into the meet...I was unsure of myself. As a result, I dropped my 2nd attempt from a planned 314lbs to 308lbs and then went back to the warm-up room to try to get my head back in the game! In the warm-up room, Thomas (my new friend and videographer that day!) asked how it felt, I said it was heavier than I wanted it to be...he offered me my camera to watch the video.  Didn't look so bad, but I would have liked to see it go faster!

Second attempts time and I knew that I had to go out there strong...reminded myself how 308 is nothing...easily done in training, no problem just go get it! Again it went up and, although it felt smoother than the 286, it felt overly heavy again! I thought I had my head on straight but here's when the doubt really started to seep in...I was saying/seeing 340 over and over in my head, but the feel of that 308 was fresh in my body..it was hard to fight.

I had to put my 3rd attempt in...I stood their unsure (aggravating the hell out of the attempt keeper - I don't know what that position is officially called, so we'll go with "attempt keeper" and call it good ;) just looking at my options. It's tough not having someone there to help keep you focused and provide feedback on the lifts! Doubt...ugh...I caved and gave her 150kg/330.7lbs.  What? Really?!  Yeah - I really did!

Fortunately, it was loud and she started yelling at someone else to hurry up and give her their next attempt when I finally told her mine, and she didn't hear me. "Huh?" she said, and in that split second, I really DID get my head on straight and remembered what I went there to do and I changed it...152.5kg/336.2lbs - YEAH! Now I just had to do it...

Back in the warm-up room, Thomas offered me my camera again to watch the 2nd lift. I wasn't sure I wanted to see it, based on how it felt, but I played it back and was amazed! It went right up..it looked nothing like it felt. That's great feedback! When I saw that, it all came together for me. I knew that the 336 was happening, but I'd have to go out there and totally attack it, just own it.  All my strength...everything I had.  YEAH!!

Finally came down to it...I went out there, I took my time setting up, deep breath then...ATTACK! I fought it, I owned it, I won it! What a rush!!!

Here are all three lifts:



Back in the warm-up room, I was shaking like crazy. A few people came up to me to congratulate me on that pull and I commented how much I was shaking. Someone explained to me - "you released so much adrenaline during that pull, THAT'S what is making you shake like that!" Wow...cool ;)  It's the greatest high...I wish i could bottle it and share it with you...

So that's it, in a very large nutshell :)  I took first place in the 148's open women, raw division and Powerlifting Watch posted this on Monday - it was awesome to find there and read where that puts me in the standings!

Back in the Game!
Yesterday I was right back in the gym working on my overhead press, and today was back to deads and my modified/hybrid 5x5 and 5-3-1 programming.

Yesterday - Shoulders
5 x 5 Seated BB Press @ 62lbs
3 x 10 Seated DB Press (one-arm) @ 25lbs
4 x 8 Seated DB Lateral Raises (first 3 sets w/ fwd lean) @ 10lbs
3 x 15 Face Pulls @ 70lbs
3 x 10 Cable Crunch @ 120lbs
3 x 15 Wtd Decline Sit-ups @ 25lbs
25 mins Elliptical

Today - Back
5 x 5 Sumo Deadlifts @ 255lbs
3 x 8-10 Low Row (Hammer) @ 45, 55, 60lbs
4 x 8-10 Close Grip Lat Pulldown @ 70, 75, 80, 70lbs
1 meager half-way up pull-up ;)

Tomorrow is off, just some cardio tomorrow.  It'll feel good...today went *really* well, but I could sense I wasn't totally recovered from Saturday.

Raphael has pointed out to me in the past that my focus tends to drop after the powerlift, I couldn't argue with him. Yesterday and today both I felt a shift in that, after Saturday I feel like I've got a renewed sense of hunger and I want more! I asked him today to continue to point that out to me if he senses it again, because I'm bringing my freaking A game to that meet in November...no letting up!

This is the face of no letting up!




Friday, August 26, 2011

Ready: Mind & Body!

Today was weigh-in day before the big event tomorrow. I was all ready and feeling good about what was to be a nice, calm, drama-free weigh-in. When I left my house at 9am this morning, I was 147.2. Allllll kinds of wiggle room for a cut-off of 148.7 (earlier today I mistakenly thought it was 148.6).

I confidently and comfortably made the hour drive, walked in, stripped down (undies/sports bra) and at about 10:30am, hopped on the scale! *Drum roll* aaaaand.....wait, huh?! 149.0! UNREAL! Are you kidding me?

Soooo...off to the car, or, what I'm now calling my portable sauna! 90 degrees outside, August, mid-day in Florida with the windows rolled up and the heat on nuclear blast. A few minutes later (25 fairly excruciating minutes to be exact, only made bearable by the entertaining text conversation I was having with a few friends)I went back in to try again (I only had until 11:30 to gitrdone, else I'd have to either weigh in to the next weight class or continue to starve until 7pm tonight -- no thanks).

Stripped down...this time to sweat-soaked sports bra and undies ("oh sexayyy giiiiiirlllfrennnnnd!"), hopped on and closed my eyes! 148.5 - *phew*

So much for drama-free! No matter, UNDER the wire - I made it! Just another one for the lesson books!

I ate quickly after that, a giant banana and a protein shake, plus two bottles of water. I've continued to refuel & rehydrate myself the rest of the day, and now I'm feeling READY.

I've got a packing list prepared for tomorrow, and everything is packed that can be packed already, and I know what food and protein and other supplement concoctions I'm bringing along. iPod and camera are charging!

Mentally I'm totally in the game...visualization complete! I can feel the weight of the bar, I know what to expect from it and I can see myself completing the lift...I know how it feels at the top when I finally pull it through and lock it out! Physically I know I've trained and prepared hard, I know I'm ready for it, and I know I'm eating right.

The plan:
Wake-up, eat something.
Get dressed, pack up and head out for pancakes, mmmm. Should eat this meal around 9:15
Make the hour drive up to Port St Lucie, arrive by 11
Warm-ups: 5x135, 3x185, 1x225, 1x250
First Attempt (confirmed, meet is in Kilos): 130kg / 286.6lbs
Second Attempt: 142.5kg / 314.2lbs
Third Attempt (depending on feel of 2nd): 152.5kg (336.2lbs) or 155kg (341.7lbs)




All this prep...three lifts, three minutes tops! Totally worth it.

BRING IT!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rock You Like a Hurricane

Ok, that's cheesy I fully admit it :) Yesterday I wasn't sure if this meet was going to happen, we were squarely in the middle of "the cone of doom" from Irene, and she was forecast as a Category 3/4. Today, she seems to have shifted far enough east to just miss us. I'm breathing a sigh of relief with that, but also experiencing some mixed emotions, as it just means she's headed for someone else :( All we can do is prepare and hope for the best, I guess!

But - as it stands, the meet is ON. The plan this week:

Sunday: off
Monday: squat/deads + cardio
Tuesday: bench/press + cardio
Wednesday: cardio only
Thursday: cardio only
Friday: off/weigh-in at 10am
Saturday: biggest.pull.evarrrrr!!

Monday I did a reduced volume/reduced intensity workout. For squats, 4 working sets of 5 squats: 95, 105, 115, 125lbs. For deads, 5 working sets...2 x 5 at 135, 2 x 5 at 165, and one set of 5 at 185. That's it! Here's the vid (note: new toy!):

Happy about my squats, I think my form is continuing to improve as I get used to this elbow thing (can see them start to slide back in the last set)and the breathing, but definite improvement all in all. I still have to literally FORCE my elbows down before I squat. The plan is to learn for it to be so habitual I don't have to constantly adjust..they'll just go and stay there.

Today for bench I did 4 sets, two with paused reps, two without at 107 pounds. Looking at the video, I feel like the 2nd two sets were much better than the first two, which doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'll take it! I like it :) Press on the other hand...ugh. Needs a lot of improvement. But here it is, the good and the bad!

Now? I plan: friday food, packing list, saturday morning food, first/second attempts...

Goal & Percentage-wise, it looks like my attempts should go something like this: 289, 313, 340lbs.

Kilo-wise (hahah), it looks like they'll end up working out to roughly: 286.6, 314.2, and 336.2 or 341.7 pounds.

And, I constantly visualize: the goal is 340lbs, 340lbs, 340lbs...
Definitely channeling some of the job search frustrations into that. I know it's going up...

And it feels gooooood :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ending on A High

So here we go...1 week from tomorrow is the DL only meet, and today I finished up my last regular training day with a strong leg day. This week went great - exactly what I needed to wrap up training and prep for this meet!

On Tuesday, RC and I went 5 x 5 with 245 on deads and every set felt better/stronger.
Here's set 4:


Bench went really well on Thursday too. Increasing at only 3lbs/week, I did 5 x 5 @ 103 this week. 4 of the 5 sets were paused (took a break on set 4). This is set 5:


I think going forward (for now anyway), I'll pause sets 1, 3 and 5 and go for touch & go reps on sets 2 and 4.

Today, squats went super smoothly! Definitely continuing to make progress there and I think it's going to make a difference. Raphael called me on my breathing today and when I changed that it up, once I got the hang of it, I think it really helped propel me up. No videos, went 5 x 5 at 115. I actually did a 6th set too, we were watching my form again. We'll call it a "diagnostic set" ;)

It was great to end on that note - feeling really strong. Just gotta stay mentally totally focused and in the game this coming week. I'll take it easy Mon/Tues/Weds, just a little easy cardio thurs & friday so I can really be well rested.

Big, heavy things coming :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

T-Minus Two!

That's two weeks, and I'm counting! I have one full training week left before my Deadlift only comp, and I need to make it count. This week needs to be 100% focused, 100% on - no distractions in the gym. Period.

In my own time-honored tradition, I went ahead and ordered a new pair of knee socks to lift in, although the ninjaaaaa POW! socks will come along as back-up. Awww yeah :)

One of the things that has been bothering me is that I haven't been happy with my programming. I haven't been able to find the right balance for what I think I need...something between JUST training the lifts (high volume on lifts, high intensity - zero accessory work), and ENOUGH training the lifts (lower volume on lifts, lower intensity - sufficient accessory work). It seems all the programs out there are one or the other. An example of the former: Sheiko or StrongLifts 5x5. An example of the latter: 5-3-1.

Ok hold that thought. I'm not through it yet, but so far it's been a great read. I'm reading the new eBook called Vault, by Dave Tate at EliteFTS. It's totally free if you join their Strength Club mailing list. And I will say so far, it's an excellent read, straightforward, and if you're reading this I highly suggest you sign up and then download the book :) Anyway - in the first few pages, this struck me:

While programming does not play as high of a role as many people claim, you still need to have a solid program designed to help you achieve your training goals. The difference between a general program based on what an author perceives to be effective, is a far cry compared to a program designed around your own strengths and weaknesses. Time and experience will give you the best training. Learn how to do this for yourself.

So apparently, I felt I needed permission to do this, but in an effort to satisfy my need for higher lift volume/intensity while keeping accessory work at what I think is an acceptable (and necessary) level - I've decided to build my own hybrid program. It's a cross between 5-3-1 and Stronglifts 5x5. Yep. I started this past week and I'll give it at least 8 full weeks before I make any decisions, but so far so good, hahah :)

For reference later, here are my starting weights:

OH Press: 55lbs, plus 2/week
Deads: 235lbs, plus 10/week
Bench: 100lbs, plus 3/week
Squat: 105lbs, plus 10/week

Percentage-wise, I started considerably lower on squat than anything else, but part of that decision was based on wanting to continue to try to perfect form. I started considerably higher on bench, because thus far working with percentages in the 60-70% range haven't gotten me anywhere, and another thing that Dave asks (repeatedly, no less) is "are you getting results?" "No?" "Well what have you changed?" "Nothing?" Annnnd there's your answer. So I'm changing things up.

Speaking of squat form, here's Friday's squats, fourth set of 5x5 at 105 lbs:


I still need to slow down, focus more, but overall I was happy with my stance, my elbows, and more more uprightedness (word, yes ;)

Another thing that's changing things up and I think really GOOD, has been training with RC. We had a little hiccup early on but we've gotten into a really good groove I think, and the mix is working well. I'm still learning a lot, and I found I push harder but more importantly smarter, with him there...but, more on that another time :)


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back-Off!

Last week was a back-off week and it was good timing...I really needed it in more ways than one. It also gave me a good opportunity to work on my Squat form. A few weeks back you might remember me freaking out about my squat form, where I suddenly saw it from a different angle and was HORRIFIED (let me say that again...HORRIFIED)!
One of the things I decided to really focus on was keeping my elbows forward (pointing down, perpendicular to the floor, rather than behind me and parallel to the floor) so I set out with a low weight and a ton of reps and I got busy!

FINALLY, I think I'm getting it. I have to mentally cue myself to think of someone almost forcefully pushing them forward and holding them there while I squat. This helps me keep my chest up, which helps me not fall. I think! We'll see as I work back up to some weight :) I also widened my stance (just a tiny bit), and brought my grip in (it helps me with my elbows).

For now...here's what progress looks like:
Before (Not pretty! Notice my elbows and how far forward my chest is)


After (Elbows! Chest (more) up!)


Makes me very happy :)

In other news, I have 2 weeks left to train hard for my deadlift only meet...it's coming on so quickly! Also, my girl Brandi is officially coming down for my meet in November, staying for the week on vacation, and then we're driving up to Savannah for her Oly meet the following weekend! A week long extravaganza of weightlifting, vacation/visiting, and road tripping...I mean *really* can it get any better than that?! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Turning it Around

Sooo....deadlifts. I *heart* them. I'm so excited about the upcoming meet, I can't even tell you. I visualize an amazing pull over and over. I can tell you in my visualization it's not easy, it's a long fight...but I pull through it and I get that bar up and lock it out and the feeling is amazing. Over and over. I visualize it with every lift I train, during cardio, and sometimes even at random moments throughout the day. The meet is 4 weeks from Saturday - that's crazy soon!

Yesterday RC and I trained deads - back and hamstrings. I followed the plan, 5-3-1 plus heavy singles. Five at 220, three at 250, then singles at 280, 305 and 325.

280 was easy


(yeah I wore the socks!)


So was 305...



A long rest, and I was ready for 325 - a crazy gym PR and equivalent to my meet PR...a big step along the way to the big pull at the upcoming meet...I set up, I visualized it over and over. I took hold of the bar...

And I missed it. I didn't just miss it, it kinda owned me. It didn't budge. Glue.

Hah...it sucked. And that's a total understatement. I'm glad RC was there, because he didn't sugarcoat it...he just said, "it sucks to miss a lift, doesn't it?" Yeah it does. And that was that, and it was time to move on to the rest of the session.

Which I did, I caught my breath, I got my shit together, and I still had a good session. I was a little down, and definitely tired (missed deadlifts, particularly the kind that are glued to the floor, are kinda deceptive in that even though the weight doesn't MOVE...you're still exerting a max force on it!), but I just needed to move on and finish up strong.

On the (very, very short) drive back to my house, I had a moment. I had a little conversation with myself:

"I gotta rethink this, maybe I should just try to be back right where I was in January at the upcoming meet, aim to pull 325 in August and be good with that."

But...almost as soon as that thought completed, I had another that went...

"Uhh...fuck that yo! Give it a minute...it *just* happened like 10 minutes ago and you're tired and hungry and you've got a month to get your shit together. You never train the week leading up into a meet, nevermind the day before and nevermind a "warm-up" with 5 at 220 and 3 at 250. It's SUPPOSED to be fucking hard today. You're in the middle of a skirmish preparing for the big battle..now is not the time to run away."

So there it is. I turned it around, not stopping. Tired, depleted...it was not (and still isn't) the time to make any decisions like that. I have a plan, I'm sticking to it!

Tomorrow: Bench!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Training Week Ends - Massive Weekly Wrap Up!

Not the best training week for me, numbers/strength wise but a HUGELY important and awesome training week for me in so many other ways.

1. Last Friday, RC and I beat the living sh*t out of our legs. I can't even begin to relay the soreness and the "overdoneness" factor. If it helps to even give you an inkling, on Sunday I took a step and my entire right hamstring seized and cramped up and refused to move for a good 5 minutes or so. It took about an hour for it to relax and unseize (it's a word now), and probably another 3 or 4 for the crampy pain to totally subside. This seriously affected my strength and performance all week (I'm sure of it, but if you need proof, check my shakey/unstable performance with Overhead Press from Monday!). What's the major lesson learned here kiddos? Note to self: don't do this in the future!

2. I had a solid deadlift day on Tuesday, but it was a step back week, and a good thing too, because I was still not fully recovered on Tuesday for Deads. I went for warm-ups, followed by 3 sets of 5 at 240, 250, and 265. RC followed suit only he stuck with the conventional stance. Had I needed to go for max reps or heavy singles, it would not have happened. Or would have further impeded my recovery from Friday for sure! RC and I discovered a slight inefficiency in his deadlift that we are going to work on correcting going forward. Video would be nice here, huh? Yeahhhh...that day I lost my camera :( I think it fell out of my bag and I didn't notice it, and of course...NO ONE turned it in*

3. Wednesday - OFF

4. Thursday we worked Chest. I benched with 5-3-1 and then did a bunch of accessory work, RC started with Flat DB Press. We used his camera on Thursday and got my last bench set and got a nice video of some of his heavy DB presses - 75 pounders for 10 reps! It was not my best chest day either, I wanted at least 9 reps at 100, I got 8, and only got the 9th with assistance:



It really was just the tiniest bit of assistance, but assistance nontheless.

5. Today - well, wow. We worked legs again. I made a very conscious effort to not beat them at all. Next week is a heavy week for deads and the heaviest week in the cycle for everything else, so the plan for today, spoken many, many times outloud, was (say it with me!) MODERATION! The plan was to do 5-3-1 sets as written, but go very light on the accessory work. I'm happy to say I stuck to the plan, however I'm not fully convinced that my legs were fully recovered even TODAY! Much better, and really close - but maybe not quite all the way there yet! Wow huh?

Anyway - we brought the camera back in the gym today...RC wanted to be sure to work on his form and his depth for squats and I'm always looking to improve on those things, so we put it to good use today. Learned something very deceiving and interesting. My squats, from the angle that I normally film from, look pretty good. They're not beautiful, they're not perfect, form gets lost as the weight gets heavier and/or I get tired during the set, but for the most part...not so bad! We got some video today that shows a VASTLY different squat! I'm like...ok so you know you watch some youtube videos of people lifting and you wince and sort of turn away, or watch out of one squinty eye, because they look like they're going to kill themselves? Holy crap that's me! Here's why it's interesting! From the side, from the view I normally get, they look great! But change that angle, a little bit behind...bad, bad news. I don't even know how that can be! But I was mortified. I never would have seen it though, without a partner filming it from a different angle. They're so bad I honestly believe it would be irresponsible for me to post them. Not to mention I'm embarrassed to, too!

6. With that understanding, I'm now on a mission. As I mentioned last week, one very big and obvious issue is my elbows. Another potential contributor (mentioned before): weak abs. I'm not sure how they're weak at this point, but it seems likely given my "symptoms." Easy enough to work on, and it certainly can't HURT anything...so, abs will get some extra attention. I WILL GET THIS, damn it ;)

7. Having a training partner freaking rocks. I've never had one before, but in just this week alone I've learned many little (& some big!) things. In the process, I'm also learning how to BE a good training partner. My spotting sucks and needs some work, but I've already seen improvement in that - it's an art. I get a different perspective from it - it helps me to see my workouts through another's eyes in a few ways - not just selection of sets and reps and exercises, but also energy levels, enthusiasm, determination, etc. It's cool to sort of combine things from different "schools," too. I'm not sure I can fully explain either one of those things, but it's been enlightening for me and for however long it lasts, I'm very happy for the experience, the camraderie, the extra push and nudge, and the friendship. Shouts to Raphael for that, it's been awesome and I look forward to more :)

8. Like my friend Ms. T, I'm learning more and more to work through fear. Tara has pushed so hard in the past, that she's having now to recover from Adrenal Fatigue. It's a long, difficult road (and one I'm so proud of her for walking, and walking tall). Although some of the circumstances are different, what she just wrote in her blog really struck a chord with me:

Pushing myself has never been the problem (in the last few years). It’s listening to my body and knowing when to slow down that I have a problem. But what I’m neglecting are the answers to these questions. Of course I’ll know when it’s too much… AFTER the fact and it may trigger a worsening of my symptoms by putting more of a strain on my adrenals and thyroid, but will it set me back months and months? Of course not… as long as I listen and act.

Listen and act. Listen, learn, act. Adapt. Guess who's not going to work to the point of total leg annihilation again? I didn't know it was too much until AFTER, until I couldn't sleep from the soreness/pain, could barely walk, and had my entire leg cramp/seize up. But I certainly learned, and now is the time to listen and act. And it DID set me back, but not months and months, so all is ok. Not a total screw up, just learning. Still :) But aren't we all? Still? :) Tara's an awesomely strong role model in this (and many other) regard! Thanks Ms. T!

I'm learning to know when to stop, yeah I have a ways to go ;) I'm also learning to trust me and my body and FOOD. I'm up to a little over 2000 calories per day, and at least one meal out each week. Seriously - me, 2000 calories a day?! I'm NEEDING it and recognizing that need, and equally important: I'm enjoying it and I'm not sweating the little things. I could probably stand to go for even a little more some days. But I'm staying away from religious tracking of cals/macros and manipulating every meal to be perfect. Part of it comes from still having the "safety net" that Tara mentions in her post, I'm getting little nudges here and there on the food front that make it just a little easier to listen to the voice that tells me I need to eat (rather than shutting her right down, as I've so often done in the past). But I too want to learn to trust my own voice that says "too much" or "not enough" or "just right." Hello Goldi-Cooth :)

All in all - it's been an amazing week. I've learned a lot, I've made a ton of progress, even if it all wasn't in my strength and in my numbers.

* Do you have any idea how much it irritates me that people can suck so bad? If it's not yours, turn it in! How many times could I have had a new phone, iPod, CAR...but these things weren't mine, so I gave them to the front desk to keep safe. It would be nice if most of the world operated that way.

So here's where I debate a second post or just keep right on going into "everything else." Well here's where you can decide to quit, or keep reading cuz I'm goin in!

Tuesday of this past week I heard back from the job I last interviewed for - no go. It was a pretty big blow, and despite what my mom says about the email, I really feel it was the dating equivalent of the "it's not you, it's me" speech. And we all know that means "it's you, and you suck." BUT - it wasn't the ideal job anyway, it was only part-time, no benies, etc...so, onward!

That was the same day I lost my camera at the gym :(

It was also the same day that my Bloom site went totally on the fritz. I ended up having to call Go Daddy because I could not log into it _at_all_. No post updates, no changes to the theme - nada. They ended up having to "roll it back" to a few weeks ago, so all of the cosmetic and other changes I'd made to the site were lost.

Tuesday was not my brightest day this week ;) But today is Friday, and it's a much, much brighter day. My new camera arrives today. I'm on the job hunt EVERY day. And in between that and training, I'm keeping much busier than expected with some small projects RC and I are collaborating on. They're coming together really nicely and there's some potential for some really great things to come from it all, I believe that! I've also successfully put Bloom back together again, and now just need to get over THERE and update. I've got several ideas, I just need to discipline myself to sit down and WRITE. Through all this, I've picked up a little web design knowledge which is kind of cool. Unemployed, but picking up a new skill here and there can't hurt!

Which leads me to another thought! I'm thinking of getting another certification. Debating going to NASM for a Corrective Exercise Specialist certification. It feels like that should open some employment doors for me, and definitely goes along the lines of picking up a new skill while I'm down! I need to make a decision...I've been sitting on this one since the beginning of July. I guess I just want to be sure that the output (cash/time/effort) is going to be worth the return. It's hard to say in this economy, and particularly since I don't know where I might end up job wise right now!

And with that, friends...I stop being a windbag and I leave you to your weekend :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Training & Meet Updates

I've printed out my entry form for the Treasure Coast Classic meet at the end of August, I'll mail it in tomorrow (deadline is 7/28). I'm getting super psyched up the closer that gets!

I also got a very exciting call last night and an email this morning from my friend Brandi - she's going to fly down here for my full power meet in November, stay the week on vacation, and then we're going to drive up to Savannah the following weekend for her Olympic Weightlifting meet. (Roadtrip + girls weekend + lifting) x 2 = Awwwwwesoooome, hahahah ;)

So on Friday I had a very special guest with me at my gym - Raphael was my training partner for the day and we did legs.

It was pretty excellent having a partner, I definitely pushed myself hard (lots to live up to, hahah ;) and got a fantastic workout - it felt GREAT, until yesterday, hahah. Yesterday the sore had probably crossed the line into "a little too much"

My working sets were 5 x 125, 5 x 135 and a last set of 5+ at 150. I got 12...
Several ugly reps in there at the end but I was super happy with this set overall. One day I'm gonna get a fully clean set, all good reps that feel smooth and right!

Squat 150 x 12


RC did some pretty awesome looking sets...I think he ended up with something insane like 210 x 12 (really it might have been 15, I can't remember - but umm..either way, insanity), 220 x 10 and 230 x 8 or 10! Ahhh one day. He has excellent form (of course), he makes it look easy! I noticed he squats with a slightly closer stance than I do, and he stays better/more upright. His elbows are also more perpendicular to the bar than mine are. We're speculating as to whether my elbows being a little more behind the bar may be causing me to pancake over a little bit. Ahh...one day I fully plan on owning this lift :)

Today was Press day. I fully believe that my legs held me back today, they weren't fully recovered. Not sure if you can see it in the video (ahh, yup - you can) my legs were shaking like crazy during my last set. Overall I had a really great workout, but this set of presses could be a lot better. My first two sets were for 3 at 64 and 68 pounds. I tried a slightly wider grip on those, and found it really awkward. I brought it in a little for the last set (probably too narrow), 3+ at 72. I wanted 8 or 9, I ended up with 7 but there was nothin' left in there really. I'll have more weeks. I did try to take Myles' advice on the breathing and leaning back on the bar descent...still, a lot of room to improve on technique. I kinda felt a little all over the place with these today...don't use these as a "good" example, LOL:

BB Press 72 x 7


RC will be joining me again tomorrow for deadlift day. Tomorrow is a bit of a backoff week, not going for any max sets, which is good given last week and that my legs are STILL feelin' it from Friday. Next week I go for some singles again, so I need to save it. Should be fun :)

All in all - good stuff!

Work wise...still no word on anything. I feel good though, something is coming my way :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A title might be nice...

I had a GREAT bench workout today - bench went well and so did all of the accessory work I did. I felt strong...I added one chin-up to almost all my sets (supersetting chins with bench) and was still strong for DB Incline Press after that.

Still ramping up slowly with bench, but the last set was 95 x 10 - all paused. Gotta watch the bum though, once or twice it might've come off the bench? I'm not sure - tough call but it needs to be clearly *on* it:



In other news - Christie was super happy with me today, really happy with the progress I've been making. Our next appt is now not for 5 weeks. Applied for health insurance, hopefully there are no surprises there! Trying to teach myself WordPress Web Design..hahah...um, yeah...That, and I'm working on figuring out my financial situation for the next 6 months or so. Productive, ish, I guess. I did have to get out earlier...went to Barnes & Noble, just couldn't be in the house anymore! I think sometime this weekend I"m going to rent the last Harry Potter movie (i saw it in the theatre, but I'd like a refresher) and then maybe sometime next week I'll go see the new one as a matinee mid-week, cuz I can ;)

Squats are up tomorrow, and Raphael will be joining me - so excited about that :) He makes squats look easy. Hopefully we'll have a video or two to share.

And that is that for this day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Whole Buncha Stuff, and Very Little (at the same time)

That's sort of how I've been feeling this week. Like I have a ton of stuff to do and to figure out and to "fix" and yet at the same time, really I have very little actually going on. It's a weird feeling, hard to explain. I feel like things are very far from a plan, and we all know how I like PLANS, don't we? Right now I'm a little bit all over the place and feel like a lot is out of control, but how else do I really expect to be right now? I mean I *just* lost the job, right? It's not like I've been at this for months. So rather than killing myself trying to control a bunch of stuff that really can't be controlled...I'm TRYING to go with the flow and just do what I can. So even though it's very little, it somehow feels like a lot of work hahah.

Friday July 8 was my last day with eDiets, it was busier than I expected and not quite as smooth as I'd hoped (a lot of last minute stuff), but it still ended the same. Friday night I took myself out to dinner to celebrate - nice big burger and fries and a margarita. Yum :) Still have a lot of mixed feelings over the whole thing. I'm trying to stop myself from trying to justify them all or from pushing them away, just trying to go with it.

Yesterday I had an interview for a great job, I'm feeling really hopeful and positive that I'll get the call for another interview. She said I could expect to hear either way by the end of the week next week. Please if you're reading this keep that in your thoughts for me, I really need for something to come through soon. It is only part time but with that and some PT I should be ok for a little while and it's really a great match for me, so...Yesterday eDiets and I also struck a deal on the one thing that was left as a bit of a loose end. We'll have to call it "mutually beneficial" and just leave it at that, though.

Today I think I found the health insurance plan I'm going to go with, it seems to provide basic (though very reasonable) coverage at a somewhat affordable rate, considering. Cobra, as always, is completely out of my reach at $400/mo!

Deads yesterday...it was a good day. They went about as I expected...not quite ready, hahah ;) That said, I'm also not real worried about it. It all went down like this:

5 x 135
3 x 165, 195, 215
5 x 245
1 x 295
miss x 320

This was a "3" week so for working sets it was 3 x 195 and 215, 3+ at 245
I held back on the 245 and only pulled the 5 (easily had way more in me) but I probably should have just stuck to 3 I guess, because in addition to the regular 5-3-1 program, the revised program calls for adding singles in meet prep phases. Since I've decided to go for the August DL only meet, I'm adding that in now (that's the part I'm not quite ready for). Singles this week were 85% and 92.5% of intended meet max (345). 295 went up easy and 320 didn't go up at all. Well, I did move it about an inch off the floor, but no way it was comin all the way up - not surprising, and not alarming :)

Here's the 245 (continuing with the dead stop thing):


Here's the single at 295:


In still other news (this is a long update!) ... I see Christie tomorrow. I think it's been about a month since our last session. I'm feeling really incredible good about things lately. I ate comfortably when at home with my folks last week and came back only 1lb higher than when i left. Before I left for that trip, Raphael asked me to come up with a plan that I enjoy. He said, "forget the calories, forget the macros, just come up with a plan that has foods that you think you'd enjoy and put them together into meals and then let me see it." I did this, and when I was done and looked at it - I was really happy and kind of excited about it. I spent a minute too long looking at it, and found myself wanting to tweak the macros and move things around between meals, but I walked away from it. He asked me to show it to him and he said, "I love it, go for it!"

I wasn't sure about it, I'll admit I was hesitant because I still KNEW the macros and the cals...but on Monday I went ahead and gave it a try, it just felt like the right time to do it. And then yesterday. And today. And I'm fully enjoying it. And I'm lifting strong. And I'm losing...my scale weight is still higher than I'd ideally like it, but I haven't felt that out of control feeling - I'm confident and comfortable. I'm feeling like...I can finally DO this and be ok :) And I can't wait to share this with Christie tomorrow - all the "new" foods I'm adding and swapping in and out of my daily diet. The flexibility, going out and enjoying myself once in a while...as she said at the end of my last visit (I think), I'm getting my life back...in so many ways :)

Bench is on deck tomorrow, and squats on Friday, with a guest appearance! Really looking forward to that :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Officially IN for August

I'm officially throwing my hat into the ring for the meet on August 27 - deadlift only! So excited about that!

Setting my sights on 345 for that 3rd pull, since I won't be doing a full meet ahead of it, and training will reflect that accordingly. Adding some singles into my training that'll be at 85, 92.5 and 95% of that. So tomorrow I'll be going for one at 320 and in about 2 weeks it'll have me going for a PR in the gym at 328, eek! Fun!

In other news, today was a pres day and I pulled out 5 x 60, 5 x 65 and 8 x 70. I know I have some work to do on my form with this move, it's my least practiced exercise...I took it out of my training some time ago. Obviously 8 was not failure, but I was right on the edge:



Tomorrow - deadlift report! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Home in VA

I came back to VA earlier in the week to visit the folks, my aunt and uncle, the ole' folks, and to celebrate (early) both the 4th and my birthday.

Travel day on the way here went super smoothly - that was a nice change! My dad picked me up as planned and we hit the Trader Joes. Really wish we had one in SoFl! The weather was gorgeous, just a bit cooler than FL and the skies were sunny and bright blue with big fluffy, cotton candy clouds. I made sure to take my shoes off and loll around in the grass (since FL has weird/hard grass) and I even laid out on the lawn for a little while - heaven! It was sooo relaxing! Despite the major relaxation though, I did manage to come down with a bit of a migraine - boo.

Thursday morning started with me at the gym - chest/shoulders and cardio on the agenda. I did it, I got through it, but I wasn't strong or focused or into it _at all_ It really was pretty awful, hahah. I think it was because I took so many drugs the night before (for my head!). After that I worked a half day like a good girl, got caught up on some emails and then helped get dinner together with mom.

Friday was leg day (skwat!) and then off for the day to visit the ole' folks with my Aunt. My legs workout went MUCH better than the day before, wow...I was like a different person!

I forgot my camera in FL, but squats went:
5 x 115
3 x 130
1+ x 150 = 10

I was definitely pleased with that performance, and they all felt good/clean, no pancake-y-ness ;)

Today I spent the day with mom after starting the morning with a (hilly! omg!) 3 mile run. We went to the Farmer's Market and the grocery store and got a shit ton of amazingly fresh and beautiful looking produce! After that we pretty much spent the day prepping stuff! Hah!

Tomorrow I'm pretty excited that Lori and Laura (plus her husband and 1yo son) will be coming up in the afternoon for 4th/birthday cookout fun :) Mom and I will spend the morning over visiting the old folks first though.

Monday it's back home for fireworks and good times.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Touch & Go, Be Gone!

I made today deadlift day since I'm traveling this week and need to rearrange my schedule to accommodate that. I know that Wednesday I'll be off completely, and that I'm not allowed to deadlift in the gym at home, it's "too noisy" hahah. Whatevs. ANYWAY, so deads today, last heavy week of my first cycle back on 5-3-1...

5 x 210, 3 x 240, 1+ x 265

With the advice of sir Myles, I'm attempting to do away with the "touch and go" style deads and pull full on from the floor for every rep (here's a recent example of touch & go style). I think honestly that's easier to do with a conventional set-up, or maybe that's just me being a bit of a pussy, but...either way I gotta figure it out. We gots to do what we gots to do ;) I think these will look better as I get used to it, but not so bad for my first go 'round (I think).

I'm pretty psyched that I went beltless on the 240 and they felt great:



For the last set I belted (and chalked) up and pulled out 8 at the 265, leaving maybe 1 (very tough pull) left in the tank:



Hmmm heavy breathing much? :)
Calculated 1RM max from 265 x 8 = 330/335 depending on which formula you use. Woot :)

BUT - still need to work on resetting that back, particularly towards the end.
Next week is deload, and then we're on to cycle 2...

It's definitely going to depend on the job situation, but at this point I'd really like to plan on doing the Deadlift only division of the USPA Treasure Coast Classic meet at the end of August :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some Peace

I haven't talked about it beyond a passive mention in a long time, hopefully a sign in and of itself that things in my head are a little quieter, but I've still been "dieting" these past few weeks. I started back the 2nd week of March with Raphael and we've been at it ever since...the quest to lose about 8-10lbs. My goal was to feel better in my body, not feel bloated or off, to fit in my clothes..really just to feel right.

I started to get that feeling at about 142lbs and a few weeks ago hit on 140.4 and was feeling *fantastic* Immediately upon seeing that I got my period and my weight (and associated bloating) shot right back up where I didn't want it. Since then the 'fight' has been ON to bring it back. I've repeatedly gotten back to the 142s and each time I've felt really good. That seems to be the magic place for me - just over the line into feeling good and right, clothes fitting and importantly - easily maintainable. Still - I saw that 140 a few weeks back and I had some sort of perverse need to get back there because not getting back there would be giving up, right?

To do that, we've experimented more with manipulating carbs and cardio and during that time I've honestly come to the conclusion that I am literally fighting it, and really it kind of makes me miserable and I don't need it. I don't want it anymore, I don't want to think about it, I don't want to spend endless time doing cardio, I don't want to feel like crap - I want none of that. I want to feel good and strong in the gym again, I want to be able to live (and not in fear) and be like a normal person.

I found myself writing this in an email, and I meant it: "I feel a little like I'm giving up, but also a lot like I've won a bit of my life back." While the past few weeks have been a fight, I think that time was necessary for me to be able to look back and say "but for what?" I've already achieved the "feel good" I was looking for, my clothes are fitting again...I've achieved what I set out for and it's time to stop the fight. Carbs will come up, energy will return, training will be stronger, recovery will be better...all good things :)

It was about this time last year when I was finally able to ask for help and it has been some kind of journey of ups and downs, and yet another that will likely never end, have continual twists and turns and moments of straying off the path and getting a little lost. But I really feel like I'm very well on my way - Out of the Abyss.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Skwaaat

It's interesting how things change...not that long ago I hated performing squats and I had terrible form. Lately, maybe because of the little time off, I've really enjoyed my squat sessions and I actually feel like my form has improved...the mechanics of the movement just seem to flow better for me lately. I don't have to talk myself through it quite so much, and the weight doesn't seem as heavy. Well, it's not as heavy, but even at the lighter weights...they feel lighter than they have in the past.

Here's the latest squat session: 3 x 125, 3 x 130, 3+ x 140
Again because of the lower cals, I went conservative on the 3+ set and didn't push too hard. Called it at 8, could have gone 10 and maaaaaybe squeezed out an 11th.



Later, the tall, pasty-white skinny guy at the other rack complimented my form (and with some sort of very exotic accent no less ;)

Applied for some more jobs yesterday/today...just gotta keep pounding those resumes out I guess. No word on any though, other than the phone interview I've got scheduled for tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So far, so good

In week 2 of training and things are going along rather smoothly. I think squat took the biggest hit to strength, which I guess isn't really that surprising. Still, it's not that bad and I've got plenty of time to bring it on back.

This cycle's deadlift training max is 280, today called for 3 x 225, 3 x 240 and 3+ x 255. All three sets went well. Still low on calories, I didn't push it and I pulled the plug on the plus set at 8, felt like I had 10 or 11 in me:



Felt good. Calories will start to come up next week, I expect only good things to come :)

As for the rest of life ;) The job hunt continues...the last strong job opportunity fell through. The company decided they needed to hire in an RD rather than an MPH and so there went that position. I've another phone interview this Friday for a position very similar to the last one, I expect it to go well and be a great start to my weekend :)

Lori was here this past week and we had a total blast...we went to the Def Leppard concert...realized we've both been to see them *twelve* (LOL) times! Ten shows in common...hahah. I honestly thought it was the best show I've seen to date :) Friday night we went out and hit the club seen - Vince Neil's "Feelgoods" in downtown West Palm proved to be the club of choice. We vacated around 1am when the super drunk guys started to get a little annoying ;) Umm...plus I was pretty tired, hahah.

GFs rock :)

I'll be going home on Wednesday next week for the holiday and for my birthday...I'm looking forward to visiting the folks, my Aunt & Uncle will also be visiting from CA...it'll be a good escape from everything here. Gotta figure out my training plans for next week...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's My Friday

Had a *fantastic* deadlift workout this morning...gave a test run to the new 5-3-1 program...wow. Just felt great, and maybe I haven't lost as much as I thought!

For those keeping score, I'm taking a vacation day every Friday between now (actually I started last friday) and July 8th. Plus my birthday, which gives me a faaaaabulous 5 days off in a row over the Holiday weekend, plus a half day next wednesday.

So...tomorrow I'll sleep till my little heart desires, get to the gym and hit up some arms (snoozer) and then the day is mine! Maybe a hair cut, maybe the beach, maybe a mid-day movie...who knows, but the weekend begins now :) Also exciting - my GF will be coming to visit beginning on Tuesday and for the rest of the week! Plans so far include Def Leppard/Heart on Wednesday night and massages (thank you Living Social!) on Friday. Hopefully also some beach or pool time, who knows...we do always manage a fun time tho, so I'm really looking forward to it :)

Things are looking up...now if only I'd get that job... (still, job x 3 applied for over the past 24 hours)!

P.S. OH! I almost forgot - very exciting :) The other day at the gym someone just randomly approached me and said, "are you a powerlifter?" HAH! "Why yes, I try to be - thank you!" I didn't say that, but I felt like a superstar - I looked like an athlete! It made my day :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gettin' It Back :)

Just starting to feel really good again - I've been sleeping better AND getting more hours of sleep (don't need to get up at 4, or worse...3:50 (!) anymore!), feeling some lightness as a burden slowly lifts. It's been a little more than a week and while even though I have 5 to go (and still no guaranteed work on the other side) - each day I feel like I'm getting a bit more of my life back.

The latest news...Saturday at the gym I tried doing some (unassisted) dips and after all of one I immediately stopped - it hurts my shoulders. I just can't do them! It's frustrating but really why risk it..they're officially out of rotation :) Shoulders are fine, much better today than yesterday, but I will likely lay off chest and/or shoulders another day or so.

Tomorrow afternoon I go into the office, it'll be my first time back since the big day...should be interesting. I should probably bring a box or something too, and start organizing my stuff. Don't plan on too many trips down there between now and July 8!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Cycles

So here we are...it's June 1 - New Moon - new beginnings...I'm so ready for it!

Yesterday I just felt sort of lost, my first day at home officially "on notice." Today was a much better day than my first day, I had more to do today and I had drive and focus: getting ready and prepared for tomorrow :)

I feel good :)

In OTHER news, I went ahead and picked my next meet! I've allowed for plenty of time to slowly return to training, plenty of time to slowly work back up to where I sort of "left off" or get back to where I was, and still more time to try to make some strength gains :) It'ss the first weekend in November - the USPA Raw World Championship. Honestly I think they try to name as many meets "championships" as they possibly can, hahah. As far as i can tell all you have to do to lift at this championship event is sign-up ;) But anyway - it SOUNDS big and important! I'm really happy to have it on the schedule..or at least in my sights to add to the schedule.

Movin on...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where to Begin...

On Friday I was put on "working notice" at work, my last day is to be July 8th. If you know me, you already know why and you also know that this is probably the best thing that could happen. Well, hahah..almost best :) It would have been best had I gotten something else FIRST, but...being released from there is really a relief and a big step towards happiness.  I've been nothing but stressed for months! The terms of my notice are, relatively speaking, extraordinarily generous (I'm not sure why, but my guess is that it has something to do with marketing), and during this time I can choose to work from home or the office unless they need me in the office for something specifically.  I'll take "home" for $1,000 please Alex!

The timing surprised me, I guess I knew it would come eventually, but I didn't expect it *quite* yet...I was thinking I had till maybe August/September. With the surprise comes a big sense of relief,  a little anger, and a lot of "umm...shit!" I cycle through these emotions fairly frequently...waves just kind of hit me out of nowhere. There's some sadness too.  I know a lot of you would say "why sad?" and I think it's because there was a time (albeit quite brief) that this job to me was just the epitome of awesome...I loved it and I was happy to go in to work everyday.  Also sad maybe because as I realized I did love it so much, it was easy for me to give *so much* to it. Looking back I see just how much that was and how ultimately in the end it did nothing to help and I got nothing out of it except maybe it feels a bit like a kick in the head to be asked to leave...even if I was unhappy there for the past year or two.

Where am I going with all this...I saw yesterday that this coming week we will have a new moon, symbolizing "the time to begin new projects, initiate contracts, make important phones calls, write up a proposal and do anything that requires a starting point. A time to undertake new cycles."  I'm not generally one to put too much importance on these kinds of things, but in this case, I'm going to build on this idea and run with it through every aspect of my life. It was already starting..I could feel a change in me happening most specifically with all of the eating issues, a new trust has been really taking hold and growing.

My next post was going to be about a small victory in that arena, but Friday's news sort of dwarfed it in the immediate sense.  But the more I think about it now, in relation to undertaking new cycles, it's perfect. A friend of mine invited me to a cook-out at her house on Memorial Day, I accepted. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it occurred to me that a year ago I'd be doing one of three things right now: a) completely freaking out about going, how will I eat, what if everyone thinks I'm a freak because I don't eat anything, or I bring something of my own? b) trying to get out of going because of (a), or c) being sad and miserable because I would have declined it to begin with - further from "living," and further isolating myself .

Today - I'm excited about tomorrow and the prospect of seeing my friend, hopefully meeting some new folks, and generally having a good time. I'm not in freak-mode about the food or my weight or how to handle the situation...all I need to do is show up and have fun :) I have not stepped on the scale since last Monday - I know I'm up a little but I'm just now coming off my period and I know that's normal and not freak worthy and not even worthy of stepping on the scale, I can feel the bloat - no need :) I feel good, I feel *different* I believe it now when Raphael says it IS possible to heal this...I'm doing it, i'm working hard at it :)  There's a confidence and trust that has never been there before.

So two new cycles there, but both speak to changing the quality of my life..taking it back and making it mine again.  I also think I'm just about ready to hit the PL training again...I've been having a hard time resisting (!) squats and deadlifts in the gym lately, and more so - wanting to move some WEIGHT!

Last night I read through 5-3-1 for Powerlifting and I think that's where I'm going to start.  I used the original 5-3-1 program after my first meet (and overdid it). I think I've learned enough now and have gotten so much better at listening to my body that I'm in a good place to try this...it's been slightly revised since then. I'm going to consider the next 3-4 weeks a transition period...working the lifts back into my regular rotation, getting re-used to the movements, refining form, and then I'll give it a go. I'm excited :)

Meanwhile, late last week I took my deadlift for a spin to see how she was lookin ;) Kept it light and simple with 5 x 5 sets.  Here's the last set (lost my grip on that last rep, had to reset):



Not too bad for 5 months off, I feel encouraged ... in so many things, beginning again :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

One Year Ago...Update

Surprise surprise, I haven't posted in ages.  I've been a bit on the busy side...on the job front, on the home front, on the training front (even though I'm not specifically training for anything right now), and on the weight/eating/recovery front...

On a whim tonight I thought I'd look back and see if I posted anything around this date a year ago. Surprise - I posted on May 9th, 2010...Nutrition and Wt Battles Continue.

I'm still fighting with some of the same things, but in many ways I've come really far. It's less of a struggle, and I'm catching myself before spiraling way down deep into it. I owe a lot of that to a lot of folks who've been patient with me while I try to figure things out. Christie, RC, Coco, Tara, Brandi, Brooke...tons of others too, who've just been understanding.

I've been dieting...the same plan I talked about in one of my few posts in March...100g carbs most days, low cals, and either a high day or a cheat meal day once every 4-7 days. It's been hard and progress is very slow..not quite 1lb per week on average. But I'm getting leaner than ever at a higher weight, and my body is sort of evening out..it behaves less extremely? Not sure how to fully explain that...but the extremes are less extreme.

I wish I knew how to communicate a feeling that washed over me a few weeks ago...it was a deep down inside feeling that knew I was never going to do this again, that I've got a handle on it...THIS TIME is like the time in 2000 when I knew I was going to lose weight "this time." That's it, no questions no doubt. Ok so there's some doubt, but I let go of the constant worry.  I had a session a few weeks back with Christie where I explained this letting go, that I realized EVERYTHING was completely out of my control and I could only do what I could...hahah how silly right, of course that's all any of us could do. But I've been so determined to take and keep control of everything, it took losing control of everything (job, home, weight, etc) to realize that I couldn't do it...and more importantly, that that was OK.

She also had me draw out this sort of mental transformation I've made between sometime in 2006 and now...I've never wished more that I were an artist and could really put the vision I have in my head to paper.  It still felt good to get it out.

Yes I'm still trying to lose a bit of this, but I'm not letting it overwhelm me. I'm keeping my high days (and fully enjoying them), I'm not fearing my off days, I'm not letting the scale determine the direction of my day...my focus is not the number but how I feel and how my clothes fit.  I'm almost there, and I think I'll end up at my highest "goal weight" ever...and be happy about it :)

At the same time I've sold my house, moved, and continue the career pursuit. Things are settling down a little, but all in all, I'm feeling pretty good.  Letting go of all that stuff (whether by force or voluntarily I think is irrelevant at this point) was the best thing that could have happened. Yay...I feel like I'm on the ascent...coming out of the abyss, hopefully with my treasure :)

Training...to return soonish :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Non-Training Training Blog Post ;)

So, after consulting with my Realtor tonight just to be SURE...it's official, and I'm moving.  The offer that was made on my house for the short sale has been officially accepted by the bank, I got the paperwork today, and the closing date must be on or before 5/12/2011.

Six weeks to find a new place to live and move.  Totally doable.  Stressy, but doable.  And oh....*relief* once those papers are signed!

Danette (my realtor - she rocks, and if you're in SoFL I would highly recommend her!) is going to help me find a place, and we're going to target 5/1, so I can try to move over time rather than all in one day (hopefully the full 12 days until 5/12!).

I'd hoped that I'd have found a new job by now so that I could move to a place that was convenient for that, but...hey what can ya do ;) I'll probably just stick around this general area, because..well, I like it!  It's not far from West Palm, not far from Fort Lauderdale, it works for me in a good way :)

I can't believe it actually happened this quickly, it's very very lucky that I not only got a buyer but also that the bank moved me through the process and ultimately accepted the offer!

So while things are still up in the air job wise, and even where I'm going to be living, I'm comfortable with it. I have a deep sense of "it's all going to be ok, it's working itself out." Slowly but surely, one step at a time :)
Yay :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

What's New & Different

After RUM 4 in January I decided I needed a break from powerlifting for a while for a variety of reasons, but one in particular: it's exhausting :)  Don't get me wrong, I love it, but I learned (the hard way) a long time ago that regardless of the TYPE of stress (physical vs emotional/mental), the body responds to it in the same way.  So while I'm hammering away and physically stressing my body, if there's *stuff* going on that is causing other sorts of stress, it's like a double dose.  So, I opted to chill a bit on the physical stress, since there wasn't (isn't) a whole lot I can do about all the OTHER stress.

For a while that caused me it's own sort of stress, I felt a little lost in the gym - no plans, no goals, no events.  But I went on a run or two for cardio and decided "hey, ya know what, this feels good again!"  And I decided to run with it (har har), thinking it'd be a great past time until I felt like I could take on the PL again.  I signed up for a 10k on April 3, I set up a training plan..it was *very* exciting ;)

One week in and I was doing well! I wasn't far off on pace (it came back quickly) and I added a whole half mile to my runs (4 miles total!) and BAM, out went that knee.  Pretty much just like that, too :( I don't know what I did, how I did it, but it was excruciating for a solid day, and then just really really painful after that.  I knocked off the running immediately, RICE was the order of the day(S) and no lower body training. A week later I tentatively tried some body weight squats - nope! Basic leg extensions...NO GO! Didn't even have full ROM with no weight.  Boo. More RICE...another week - repeated the tests, they went well!  *phew*  Another week (last Friday) and I tried some lightweight squats - bar, 65, and 85lbs...score! Yay!

So here I am, one week out from that 10k.  Not gonna happen.  And I've decided that if I have to choose, I'd rather squat than run.  So running's officially out, aside from the occasional (and probably now LESS frequent) cardio run on the weekend.

The emotional/mental stress has greatly reduced since January, mainly because I've "let go" of so many of the things that are out of my control.  All I can do is the best I can each day. I can't plan for every contingency, and there is a LOT of stuff just up in the air.  All the time.  And each day I'm a little more "ok" with that :)  So I made that choice, but I'm not quite ready to go back to PL yet, despite the drop in stress levels.

Instead, I'm trying to drop these extra pounds, for real.  We've come up with a plan that so far is working, but it's difficult.  40 mins moderate cardio x 6 days, training x 6 days and 1400 cals with 100g carbs.  A "high" day every 5-7 days as needed...it's coming down.  It's tiring, and it's definitely NOT a PL diet ;)  I am weighing every day, but the plan is to stop when I FEEL right again.  I have a goal dress and goal jeans, not a specific goal weight.  I'm not obsessing, I'm not precisely measuring, I'm not neurotically tracking, and I'm not fearing my off days or my high days. I have trusted friends by my side, a plan in place, Christie's sort of approval(ish), but - I do feel like the past 8-9 months have taught me a lot...I'm ready for this.  This time, just like that one time almost 11 years ago, is different :)

This is the image I'm keeping in mind as I do this, this is my visualization when times get tough (there are a *few* some days ;)  - I'm going to be back here, strong, confident...soon :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Staying Put

It's been far too long since I've posted here, again. I'm sure it will happen again, too. Instead of feeling guilty about it, I'm just going to come here when I need it, when the expression of something I'm carrying will help me to feel better. I have enough stuff to feel guilty about and worry about.

I woke up this morning in *that* place. The scale was actually slightly less than yesterday, and yet I felt bigger, close that were fine yesterday were disgusting today, I felt more out of control today, and on and on.  You know these days.  I shrugged it off and went on my way to the gym, where of course I was weaker, slower, LESSER. Than what? Than last week? Two weeks ago? Not sure..but I assure you I was very very something-er less than "before." I left there 110 minutes later just feeling angry and bad. I wanted to fight, I wanted to yell and throw things and cry. I still didn't know why.

I started to take it out on myself when I got home and hit the shower. Everything I saw was wrong, flawed, weak, fat...you name it.  I thought about Christie reminding me that when the body HATE, I mean deep HATE really flares up, it's likely not my body, it's something else - another emotion, a different battle.  Pause she said, and figure out what it is - the problem is not your body, "it'snotmybody-it'snotmybody-it'snotmybody-it'snotmybody**breathe**it'snotmybody-it'snotmybody-it'snotmybody-it'snotmybody."

It's been a struggle to keep that in mind today, I will tell you that. But I think it (or a piece of it) finally came to me this afternoon. I can't control the job situation right now, not to the extent that I'd like. I've told myself, tried to be very convincing, responsible, smart...."move wherever there's an opportunity, be open...you can go anywhere, be free!" Sure it makes sense, it sounds good, it's the right thing, the SMART thing to do - yeah? Hell yeah it is...I'm un-tethering myself from the house and that opens up my horizons..releases me to move about the country as needed.

That's what my brain says. That's what smart, reasonable, trusted people around me say. 

Yet here's what I blurted out with my lunch companion today, unexpectedly, probably most honestly and more from my heart as I've been in a long time ... I don't WANT to move away from here.

There I said it. And it feels GOOD to say it. I don't know why, I know it makes little sense from a career sense, financial sense...really probably ANY sense except my heart sense.  I can't put my finger on why, except that I don't want to start over. Again. The last time, I very specifically chose to make my life here, why has that changed just because the job situation has? Why can't I make a go at it? I like it here.

Is that wrong?  Is it worth this constant battle with myself? Why am I fighting it so much? Am I being foolish? Not to say that I will put limits and walls up and not allow myself to explore any opportunities elsewhere, but...really? Is it ok to want to say put? Not even in the house, I've let go of that - but just here.  I want to be here.

I want to let go of so much of this stress, surrender, accept this.

I think there's probably more in there, I still feel very uncomfortable with me but maybe that's for another conversation, another day.

I also need a nap.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Honor This House

Yesterday I woke up with a load of disgust and discontent.  It was from deep within, and it was directed solely at me and at my body. I was just *blah*...wrong, off! I stared and focused in on every flaw/bump/lump/whatever...

I've been trying to "be normal" and not stress the weight, measure, track, workout like a loon, or otherwise go crazy over the weight for a while now.  In June I was in the mid-high 130s.  In July I spontaneously combusted and shot up into the low-mid 140s like - almost overnight, and since have averaged out in the mid-high 140s.

I feel out of control of my body. None of the steps that I'm taking are changing that..I try and I try to "accept" and yet there's been nothing but *tolerance*  Lately tolerance has become a BATTLE. A serious fight day in and day out because this feeling of grossness and discontent underneath has been brewing. I know I've said this a number of times, but I'm not really sure people *get* it...it FEELS WRONG here. This is not my healthy weight. I don't care if it's within normal BMI range, I don't care if I don't look fat, and I used to worry that people thought I was being vain...but I don't care anymore, it's not about that.  I quite simply don't feel good here.

It is true the more stressed I get about my job and my home and the bank and all that, my attention focuses more sharply on myself, but that's because it's the only thing that's truly mine. What's that athletic clothing line...gah I'm totally blanking...Under Armour! They have that saying, "Protect This House." My house is in terrible disarray.  It's sloppy and isn't comfortable to live in. At the end of your hectic day all you want is to come home to a nice, warm, welcoming, comfy house. I want my house to be that way again.  I can't keep feigning acceptance here, it's turning into a fight and I'm just starting to feel resentful. I want *my* house back...I want my body to FEEL right again..THAT is the way to honor this house. That's it. Non-negotiable.

I had some help in letting go of this fight. I was doing it all this time because it was what I was told I was "supposed" to do but not because it was what I wanted. I felt empowered, given permission to accept what my body has been screaming all along. All this time I was supposed to be letting go, and really all along I was still fighting.  Letting go I think, can really start now.

I don't really have a plan for accomplishing this quite yet, but I do know I'm not going to suddenly jump back on the scale every day, and I'm not going to suddenly start logging my food again daily (the thought turns me off completely). I might log here and there just to get a sense of where I am, and maybe to create some sort of very flexible "plan," but truly the thought of going on a very structured and regimented plan doesn't appeal in the slightest. I guess "the plan" is for intentional but intuitive, and here I have to believe it CAN be both if I'm truly connected.

This *feels* right deep inside from the same place that that discomfort and discontent was spewing from.

On another note - my training has been "off" too, really struggling in the gym with focus, strength, and motivation.  Sunglasses Trainer Guy came up to me today and asked me what's going on with me, he told me I wasn't myself.  Hahah...understatement.  I nearly burst out into tears and it felt like confession when I basically said - I don't know what to do! I know I want to be there, and I know I DON"T need to be powerlifting right now, but I don't want to think and I can't motivate myself _at all_ lately!  I told him I had thought about hiring him for 2 or 3 weeks just to help get me through this.  He said he would train me, he said "I'll do it, I won't take your money but I'll train you."  That felt good...huge relief. This was something else that I've really been struggling with, and he's offered to relieve that for me.  Tomorrow I give him my schedule, and we work out a 3 day split for next week and the week after.  Possibly one more week after that if I still need it.  He said, "Look, I've been telling you for what...one and a half...two years now? If you ever need help I'll help you, if this is what you need, I've got it."  A big thank you Sunglasses Trainer Guy (yes I know his real name ;)

Deep breath...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Disconnect to Reconnect

I haven't been treating myself very nicely this past week or so.  I'm not sure why, when things get extra stressful, I sort of "turn" on myself, but I definitely have been. 

The week wasn't really any different as far as the work situation goes, but maybe just the duration of the high stress is beginning to really wear me down.  Between that and everything I've just been going non-stop. I have a client I train four days per week, and I'm probably picking up two more people this week.  When I'm not doing that or planning for that, I'm working on web stuff for Bloom or helping a good friend with his.  And if it's not that, I'm searching for jobs, writing cover letters, networking, etc (as if this is secondary!).

I'm spread too thin.

Christy once put it something like, "you have so many balls you're trying to keep up in the air and take care of, there's no time let for you.  It's like you're giving yourself whatever is left over..." she wrote me a reminder note, "Don't take the leftovers." That session really resonated with me, and for a while I did a good job of reprioritizing.

This past week though, I think I've started back with the leftovers.  Too little sleep, too little food, and a push for more more more drive.  Part of it comes from not being able to get away from the job faast enough, so if I just apply more or get more clients or fix this or do that...work harder, somehow it'll happen that much faster.  Well yeah *maybe*  But there's probably a point of like...critical mass...say it with me folks...that point where more is not necessarily better. Right now all it's doing is making me want to withdraw. I'm feeling myself contract...hide in my little shell, I feel like I can't give anymore so I don't want myself OUT there...

Anyway...I did well for a while weighing myself only every other day, but it began to slip this past week. As I began to restrict the food a bit (ok...was really just 3 meals a day, 1 snack...was probably more than "a bit" but since I'm not tracking (thankfully) I don't know the full extent) and head back to the gym, I suddenly found myself on it 3 days in a row and berating myself because it wasn't going down.  When did that become the goal, I missed that? It's not the goal right now!  This is where I turned on me...I stared and focused on what I don't like, the number, and the thoughts.."why can't I at least fix this?!"

Friday night a friend asked me if I was taking myself out to dinner, I casually said "no" and glossed by it, but in my head I answered differently, "Ummm nooooo I'm not going out to eat, like I did anything this week to deserve that."

WoW ok..blast from the past.  Back to the old, i-have-to-kill-myself-in-the-gym-to-EARN-food mindset.  Nice.  Despite recognizing that thought as self-destructive, I continued with that line of thinking/behavior through most of the day Saturday.  I thought I had navigated through this stuff...ugh.  I'd probably still be stuck in my head there had it not been suggested I just shut down, disconnect (and reconnect with ME) and get away.

So I did.  I actually wrote this entry by hand from a beautiful boutique hotel in Vero Beach, FL called The Caribbean Court. I got there late afternoon yesterday, spent some time on the almost deserted beach across the street, then got all dressed up and went up to the piano bar for dinner and drinks.  It was a wonderful time, I sat at the bar and talked with folks as they came and went...where they're from, how they like it, chit chat.  I got back to my beautiful room around 9:30, put on a movie and promptly fell sound asleep. I could've slept better but I managed to stay in bed until 7.  I got some coffee and there I sat writing this entry by hand in amazingly soft and comfy linens, beautiful fresh air and the sound of the fountain outside...Breakfast came at 9am and I enjoyed that quite literally in bed, and at 10, my in-room massage guy came.

Deep breath ahhhhhh.....here are some pix of my room, the grounds, and the beach:



After the massage I checked out and spent some time exploring downtown Vero Beach, the little boutique shops and stuff.  I had lunch, and then headed for home.  Back to the grind, all the realities.

I don't know why I seem to fall backwards when things get crazy, but hopefully recognizing it (and truthfully I didn't see how disconnected I'd gotten from me, until I disconnected from everything else) is at least a small step in the right direction.

I DO know when I treat myself right I am more capable - emotionally and physically more capable - of dealing and doing.  Eat right, sleep right, stop when I need a break (rest), ask for help if I need it, and be kinder to myself.

Those are the only goals this week.  I still need to work on all those other things, but within the bounds of treating me right and staying in tune with what my body is telling me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Living Weightless

I started a thread on eDiets a while back...I guess it was a little after I started openly talking about some of my eating/work out behavior here. Hah...I just checked, it was a full on 5 months after that (and even 4 months of dealing with it privately until I posted it here)! I was afraid of being fully "out" with it, and putting it out there, even though it's a closed community, felt like more full disclosure than putting it up here, I guess.

ANYWAY, when i started that thread to openly share some of this stuff within that community, I called it "Living Weightless." The reason I chose it was because I want to be weightless in my mind...I don't want every single day in and day out to be about my weight...I was very heavy and weighed down emotionally (and physically) by my weight, and now I've lost it but I'm still here tremendously weighed down by this stuff in my head...so I decided that it was fitting as I shared my path to finally living without that burden.

The past few weeks I feel like I've taken what feel like some enormous steps in the "Living Weightless" direction.  It's been actually a lot of small steps finally adding up to something that appears tangible.  I *know* there have been changes all along, but it's a nice feeling to be able to look and see how the baby steps have actually accumulated.

So, on to those tangible steps...

The weekend before the meet I was 146.2 on Friday. That weekend, I ate out not just once but TWICE, and that included two drinks on Saturday night (woot, date night :) I was also on complete rest - the stress of work and the house and training had really taken a toll, and with only 10 days until the meet I decided the best course of action was some major rest. So no training that Thursday - Sunday, not even easy cardio. Nada.

If you know me, right now you're reading that and you might just be in as much amazement as I was ;)  But all of it *felt* right.  I had no fear, no panicky moments...no guilt.

That Sunday, I woke up (period started too!) and I was 148.6.  So let's just recap - 4 days total rest, 2 meals out, drinking, AND period, and I was up just about 2.5lbs?

I got on that scale FULLY expecting the worst and I realized very calmly, very peacefully, "Oh...I'm doing ok, I can do this."

I also realized -
Tracking/Logging food had been out of my life since Thanksgiving
Precise and neurotic weighing & measuring had been gone since a little after that, early December?

And the scale, the scale was the ONE thing I was still hanging on to.
That week wasn't the BEST week for me to decide I was ready to give up the scale.  Because of the meet and because I was on the cusp of the weight class, I did need to monitor carefully.  I did stay off it again until Wednesday, a HUGE victory in and of itself...it was in fact, the first time (other than being WITHOUT a scale altogether) I'd stayed off of the scale for more than one day in probably close to 10+ years.

Friday before the meet, I think I mentioned there were some weigh-in shenanigans. EVEN then, I stayed relatively calm when I didn't make weight and had to make a visit to the sauna to make it happen.

I ate WELL on Friday, I didn't feel guilty, I didn't worry about what it would do to my weight - I ate to fuel myself for the meet.  Saturday I didn't do as well as in the past, but it was not out of fear or guilt, it really was just difficult for me to put anything into my tummy.

Sunday and Monday - I ate for recovery. Nothing crazy, but certainly not following the "norm" for me.

I stayed off the scale from the Friday before the meet until Tuesday of this week. Monday morning I actually picked it up and put it in the closet.  Tuesday I took it out, saw the reading, and put it back. Stayed put away on Wednesday.  Yesterday, another brief appearance and then back to the closet.

I thought last week when I realized I was going to be able to start letting go of the scale that I'd be better than every other day.  But that appears to be my comfort zone for now, and so for now it stands...until whenever it changes. It takes what it takes...I tried this in August and I managed one day off the scale.  One, and it instilled *total panic* back then.  Today, it's peace.

For now, post meet - I'm taking a little time off.  I initially said I was definitely taking some period of time off, but with the euphoria of the meet, that decision feels harder.  I do know that I need SOME time, and I've respected that this week and I know I will through at least next week too.  I'm still *tired* - deeply tired - so I've been kind to this body this week - I stayed out of the gym for the week and I got a massage last night.  Wednesday was the first day I tried ANYTHING, and I stuck to the 20 minute beginner workout on Bob Harper's Pure Strength DVD.  Today I worked out alongside my new client and tomorrow I'm pondering a walk along the beach after my appointment with Christie.

I'm excited to share all of this with her...she's been huge in helping me through this. Along with peeps following along here, and of course on eDiets.

We all know I'm not happy with how my body feels where I am, but I am happy with how I'm learning to live again, and love what I do have.  I love my strength, and I do love my overall health.  I love that I'm learning to have some respect, and appreciate my full journey. It's hard, and as I've said sooooo many times before - I know there will still be times when I falter or may "backslide" a little...but this is substantial to me, I'm on a new path and it actually feels right instead of forced, and as always - progress, not perfection :)

Maybe, almost weightless :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out With It - Raw Unity Wrap Up!

I've sat down to write this at least 5 times since Saturday so I'm convinced at this point I just need to be out with it. I think part of the problem is that I've just got so many emotions and thoughts and BIG THINGS to say it's hard for me to organize it all and spit it out.

So here goes...

Friday I woke up at 147.0, well under the weight class limit of 148.7, but...the weigh-in did not go quite as smoothly as I'd like. After a quick consultation with RC, there were some last minute weigh-in shenanigans that involved hanging out in a sauna for about 20 minutes, but ultimately - I made it and that's that! Official weigh-in: 147.4!

After that drama settled I went off for some food, a nap, and a little bit of work before picking Ms. T(ara) and her husband Dale up from the airport. It was sooooo sooooo good to see Ms. T, she's so much like me in many ways and it's just been a long time and squeezy gf hugs kinda just rock :) We had some dinner and then headed back to the hotel - early morning!

I woke up at 5am STARVING - seriously weird when that happens because it seems like the ONLY time I'm that hungry is the morning of a meet. I had half a brownie when I woke up, then wandered over to breakfast at 6:30 (when they opened). Tara and Dale joined me, then we were off!

Got to the meet about 8:15, women were scheduled to start lifting at 9:30. I figured I'd be first, and one look at the flights showed me I was right - no pressure! Opening the squats...opening the entire meet! In a moment of freak out, I dropped my planned opening attempt from 164 to 159 (note: this seems to be a pattern. work on confidence!).

Looked around for Dave, was a little disappointed (but I guess not truly surprised) that he said he'd be too busy to really help me out during the meet, so I called on Ms. T. I knew I was asking a lot from her, for so many reasons this was a very difficult task that I asked. She was supposed to have been lifting, this was supposed to have been her first meet, but just two weeks ahead she found out basically she had to stop lifting, stop everything, due to Adrenal Fatigue. T is NOT your "just stop" kind of girl, and while I know I can't even come close to fully understanding how she felt about that, we are so similar I do think I have an idea. On top of that, I know that the long day of travel the day before on top of the excitement and adrenaline from just being there for the day was going to take a toll on her physically. I know it was extremely hard mentally to be there and not be lifting...and, I know she felt some pressure that I was to some extent relying on her judgement and opinions about lifts and attempt selection when she had no experience of her own.

T was amazing from the first minute I asked her and agreed once I explained what I needed. Let me make it clear, with all that I had going on leading into the meet, and with all that was going on crazy there - I don't believe I'd have been at all successful without T stepping up by my side. I needed that other voice with me, so right up front, Tara...many many thanks to you.

Also want to give big props to Dale for his awesome yelling! It seems weird but it really does make a difference, and Dale was an AMAZING cheering section out there...he's who you're hearing on all the videos below. Thanks Dale!!

Warm-ups went well, Tara came over to the bullpen area just ahead of my first lift and helped me get in the zone. The music came on (theme song suggested by the Fabulous RC) and it was my time to get things started!

1st Attempt Squat: 159.8
Good Lift! Nice start to the meet!

Went smoothly, a quick consultation with T and we decided to stay with the plan...

2nd Attempt Squat: 187.4
The lift was good, but it was "off" and it was a bit more of a struggle than I'd have liked in a 2nd attempt. Looking back on it I'm wondering if it wasn't because the jump from 159 to 187 was too big...

Consulted with T again, there was a moment of waffling on my part and then she said "you've got it I think you should go for it" so I did - she was right, I knew I had it, no reason for doubt. 3rd attempt entered...

This was for almost 9lb PR: 203.9


When that was over I was shaking like a crazy person! I couldn't believe it - it was a HUGE victory for me, over 200lbs from when I started not being able to squat at all!

The flights were big so there was a LOT of time between the last squat and the first bench. I tried to eat but found it difficult so I only ate a little. Warm-ups started and I quickly found I was having difficulty with my setup. Couldn't quite put my finger on it, although I was having a hard time with my back which was weird, because I felt nothing during squats. I told Tara to please remind me to slow down and take my time during setup...my feeling was I was rushing it and that's why all my warm-ups felt "off." The plan was to hopefully hit a PR at 126, here's how it actually went down:

1st Attempt Bench: 104.7

Good lift - I did slow down and take my time for set-up but I still felt off. The lift was no problem though, so we went ahead with the 2nd attempt as planned...

2nd Attempt Bench: 115.7

Also a good lift, but same issue with the back/set-up. It wasn't quite as speedy as it needed to be for me to feel confident in the 126 third attempt, and Tara agreed, so we went for the small victory..1.3lb PR with a choice of 121.3 for 3rd attempt...

3rd Attempt Bench: 121.3
No lift. Just couldn't get it...set-up was still off, back was off, and obviously the lift was off...just didn't have it. Maybe squat took too much..I don't know, but it got stuck a few inchces off the chest, and the spotters grabbed it.

I had a moment after the missed Bench where I needed to get my head together. I was pissed since once again I've hit MORE than that several times in training, but...the lift was over and done, I had an AMAZING squat PR, and I still had MY lift left to do, as T pointed out :) I was a little concerned about how much the squats had taken from me, and had some waffling and self-doubt about my planned attempts for deads...T and I decided to just play it by ear, that the 1st dead was not a problem regardless, so stick with it and then go from there. Got my head on straight, and knew that was the right way to go.

There was another LONG break between bench and deads. Still had a difficult time eating..my tummy was rebelling every time I put something in my mouth I kind of wanted to puke. Nothing was sitting right. T finally intervened and was basically like "i don't care if you don't want it, you NEED it so DO it!" And she was absolutely right. I had started to crash during that break, and after I forced down some food I started to come back to it fairly quickly...

Got my fab DL socks out - ninjaaaaaaa
T had brought them for me, cuz she rocks like that - check 'em out:



Warm-ups finally started, and I was getting fired up for deads. Did a few warm-up reps and then it was TIME. I'm getting pumped just recalling this part of the meet, hah! I opened pretty light (comparitively) - saving it up for that 3rd attempt. I was second to lift for deads, but I was ready to GO when it was my turn...totally amped! T told me to hold onto it, not to unleash it all quite yet, she said "You can do 275 all day, hold on to it for later" She was right...

1st Attempt Deadlift: 275.6
Easy! Good lift!

Quick consult with T, decided to stick with the plan...

2nd Attempt Deadlift: 297.6
Easy! Good lift!

OMG - this was THE moment..I had to submit my 3rd attempt...the choice was 319 or 325..which is it?! Just asking that question out loud to T and I knew...it's 325 baby!!

Watching the rest of the women lift between my 2nd and 3rd attempt just got me MORE amped. The deadlift is an EMOTIONAL lift...it's one that you can fight and pull and pull and pull...no spotter is going to take it from you. Sometimes it seems sheer WILL will finish the lift..it's just awesome to watch! It really got me pumped, and I knew what was coming for me...I felt like I had to make this lift happen for everything that's happened, for everyone that's supported and been behind me...I needed to unleash all of it on that bar!

Just before I went out for this lift (a potentially 10.2lb PR) T said to me, "Go out there and rip that bar off the floor for EVERYONE!" YEAH!

I'm so excited about this lift, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of relief and release of emotion with this lift...it was the best feeling lift EVERRRR!

here it is...3rd Attempt Deadlift: 325.2lbs


YES!
An amazing meet all in all. Two *huge* lift PRs, my total increased by 13lbs (13 and not 18 because technically I lost 5lbs on the bench) in just 3 months, and I got to see and spend the weekend with Tara.

I mean seriously, could it have gotten much better? We hung around for the awards and then headed on out to get some FOOD. I was ready to eat by then, hahah..I think my tummy settled.

We went out to the Outback, by the time we actually got to order though I was so out of it I coudn't even read the menu. T and Dale had to explain my choices to me, hahah. But a little food in me and I was feeling much much better after that.

Back at the hotel room, Tara and I had some time to just catch-up...good good stuff. I really miss having girlfriends around :(

Sunday morning I dropped Tara and Dale off at the airport and headed back towards home. I woke up sore, but more so very tender to the touch! That was a first..I felt like my entire body was bruised, and the slightest touch hurt! Even my bra hurt...ugh. I was definitely wiped out...a few days later though and I'm feeling whole and almost normal again.

I've got a lot more to share, some personal victories with eating and the scale, and a lot of it stemming from/near the meet. But for tonight I did just want to get all of this up and out...

Ultimately, I placed dead last. I was last in my weight class, last in the overall "middleweights," and last of all weight classes combined. But for me, I had a great day and I'm happy with the overall performance.

It was an awesome experience, I still smile when I think of it, I'm actually proud of me for it. And again, super grateful for Tara, and for everyone who tuned in and cheered me on. My Facebook page still leaves me grinning when I look at it!