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Primal Journal - Owly

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  • Oh, sorry for being confusing! We are doing Wendler's 531 barbell program right now. Crossfit was just beyond our budget, so I decided that we should look at what we could do for programming on our own. With my partner's employer, he gets a discount for membership at the city facilities, so we can both have monthly passes for half what it would cost for one of us to do Crossfit.

    The current program is 531 for barbell lifts with planned accessory work, plus tabata intervals and sprint work for conditioning. I just discovered that the gym has a sled, too, so we may try some sled pushes soon!

    Wednesday night we had breakfast-for-dinner (bacon and eggs, the go-to quick meal at our house) and then I prepped all the stuff for a stew and put it in the slow cooker insert in the fridge overnight so that yesterday morning I just had to set it in the outer part and turn it on. It was so good to get home after deadlifting to find a nice hot meal ready to go. I need to do that for gym days more often.

    Had my flu shot last night so I'm sleepy today. With my lungs, I can't risk getting the flu if I can help it. H1N1 left me with long-term lung damage that I'm finally getting recovered from almost 3 years later. I'm one of those people who could die from influenza, so I don't mess around. But I'm hoping I feel energetic enough by this afternoon to hit the stationary bike for some tabatas.

    Dinner tonight will be steaks with salad and homemade potato chips. The salad will use up the last CSA lettuce of the year, so until we get the aquaponic system going I will have to get greens at the market. I also have to pick up stuff to make chicken wings and bacon-wrapped dates for the party and get my cake from the gluten-free bakery. It's my party and I am going to enjoy the hell outta that chocolate cake.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

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    • Yeah, the cake was definitely worth it and a bunch of people said it was better than the regular one, probably because the gluten-free bakery uses real food. I also made chicken wings and bacon-wrapped feta-stuffed dates. Very popular snacks! The party had just the right mix of interesting people, and some friends brought instruments so there was music and singing through most of the evening. I was up way past my bedtime, though. I didn't get to sleep until after 4am, ridiculous for someone who gets up at 5am on workdays.

      I was definitely dragging it yesterday but spent the afternoon cleaning and doing some batch cooking for lunches for the week. A big pan of chicken legs, another of roasted potatoes, and two pumpkin custards, plus steaks and veggies for dinner. Having the oven on all day was nice on such a chilly fall afternoon.

      Lifting is still going well. We hit the gym with a couple of friends on Saturday morning. We keep bumping into one of the guys on the running track at the gym, and he was asking if we could help him get going on barbell lifting because he's mostly done machines and isolation stuff before. So he and another guy friend came to meet us and get started on lifting, which was fun. The guys said they'd only ever learned the "get under the bar and push!" model of lifting, so talking about form and the science was interesting, and we agreed to meet up with them a few more times to help them learn the main lifts, talk about programming and nutrition, and get them started.

      Today kicks off my planned four week paleo thing. I'm not doing a Whole 30, just cleaning things up and tracking for a month. I'm cutting out almost all dairy except probably my whey protein for my morning smoothie because it's hard for me to meet my protein targets without it. Well, that and butter. But the cheese, milk, and cream are out. I am also going to be more sticky about added sugars, not that they are a major issue but some stuff sneaks in. But mostly I expect the tracking and awareness will be the important part. I'm not counting calories or macros, just making notes. The idea is to clean up my habits before the holiday season hits in full force and to see if this lets me lean out a little more.
      “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

      Owly's Journal

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      • I really want to get into Oly lifts. I would even consider joining a crossfit just to get help with my form and access to bumper weights. I'm starting back lifting this week but my gym doesn't have bumper plates or anyone who does squats correctly for that matter. I'm afraid of hurting myself using bad technique and/or trying to ease the bar back down to the floor. Any suggestions other than buy my own weights and workout at home?
        If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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        • For the Oly lifts, I'd get some coaching to learn them. The regular barbell lifts you can learn on your own using books and videos and maybe a good training buddy, but the O-lifts are much more complicated and dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If you want to learn snatches and c&j, then you might want to look for a lifting gym or a good CF box with quality coaches. I don't think most people should jump in on Oly on their own. Do you have a college gym in your area? Sometimes you can find platforms and bumper plates there. I know the big universities here have them, as does the city facility I use. College gyms tend to be reasonably priced, too, especially if you're an alumnus.

          But for stuff like squats or cleans, you can do pretty well with a book like Starting Strength and some of the coaching vids and articles online.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • There's a new crossfit here in the town I work in, but I'm sure it's not in my budget, regardless of whether they have a good Oly coach or not. I did SS for a couple months this spring but I never felt like my squats were in good form. I had a little lower back tightness afterwards but I think that's normal. It didn't hurt. I could have good form when I didn't have much weight, but the more I added, the worse (it seemed like) my form felt. I really enjoyed the cleans, but I would like to get better with the front squat so I could maybe up my weight some more and do full cleans. Overall, when I was doing SS, I was 10x stronger than when I was younger and muscular. I couldn't bench press what I used to, but I also hardly ever did squats back in the day. I was full body strong, instead of bench press and curls in the squat rack strong.
            If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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            • Yeah, Crossfit is definitely expensive. I found it was worth it for me to learn to lift--I think I would have had trouble working up the nerve to do it solo--but at this point, I'm doing well solo (well, with my partner as a training buddy) and enjoying the freedom to focus on the stuff I want to work on instead of following the prescribed programming (even though the programming at my gym was really good). I'm finding my lifting is really improving now that it's my central focus and I'm not trying to save something in the tank for the metcon or recovering from Grace.

              However, despite my gym having bumper plates and platforms, I'm not doing the big O-lifts right now. Cleans, yes, but not full snatches or clean and jerks. I will probably come back to them, but I'm sort of enjoying the kind of strong feeling that comes with hauling a heavy deadlift off the floor and feel like I really want to spend time on those core lifts for now.

              I sort of get a laugh out of the difference between me and the guys I know who lift. Most of them have benched quite a bit and do really well at them, whereas the bench is probably my weakest lift at the moment (although it's improving rapidly). However, I rock the squats for form and the weight is going up nicely, while the two guys who are just joining us have never really squatted ever. I'm also nerdy about lifting and like to go out and find articles to read and videos to watch. Rippetoe has some good squat form vids on YouTube--they might be worth you checking them out.

              Can you afford to get a trainer to work with you on lifts for a couple of sessions? You could work most of the time on your own but have a couple of learning sessions with someone who can help with form and stuff. You could probably do that cheaper than a CF membership. You could also see if the new box in your town offers an on-ramp course of some type and just take that. It tends to be cheaper than regular membership, and the whole point is to teach you the movements. You might consider just doing that without joining on an ongoing basis.
              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

              Owly's Journal

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              • Today's workout: 500m row, back squats (week 3 of 531), leg curls 5x10@75 lbs (accessory exercise), 40 pushups.

                Today's paleo track record: kind of a fail. Piece of leftover birthday cake, too many CheeCha Puffs (gluten free potato things). Oh well. The rest of my food was pretty on track. The cake was finished off by my partner's poker buddies tonight, and the CheeCha Puffs are now gone so I'm rid of them. Tomorrow is another day.
                “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                Owly's Journal

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                • Last workout of 531 week 3 today. Week 4 is the deload week, very well timed considering Mark's post. The weights are laughable but I think it will feel good, even though it means that for my overhead press I will be using the fixed barbells because you can't put negative weights on the bar easily!

                  Sometimes being a woman lifting with a group of guys can be humbling. They warm up with my max working set on stuff like OH press. I need to remember that all 3 of them outweigh me by more than half my bodyweight. On upper body stuff especially, there's a big difference between a 150lb woman and a 235lb man.

                  Getting back to dairy-free paleo is tricky. I will do something like pour a coffee at work and put cream in it without thinking, or I ordered a greek saks the other night not thinking about the feta. However, even with those slips I find some of the puffiness I'd been noticing is going away. Dairy definitely needs to go back in the sometimes food column, rather than being a daily thing. I've kept my whey protein in for now, though. Otherwise I just don't make my protein amount for the day. My smoothie is something I can just drink at my desk in the morning without fuss. The issue seems to be more the lactose and maybe the casein, so quality whey seems to be ok.
                  “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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                  • Deload week makes me feel like a dork. The weights are super low and I feel like people must think I'm ridiculous. I know, you're not supposed to worry about what other people think, but a lot of dudes already pay a lot of attention to the woman in the squat rack, and my heavy lifts feel like a way to prove I belong there. If I'm clearly squatting more than I weigh, then I've got some gym cred. Doing chinups helps too.

                    We're starting to make friends with some of the gym folks, though, and I was laughing with a couple of the guys about deload week and how silly it feels. One of them was joking that a person should come in and pretend to be a clueless noob and then rope in some sucker to teach you form, and then do it perfectly to mess with his head. Sort of a gym version of pool sharking? Actually, talking to them about deloading was a way that I felt like I earned some belonging because it made it clear that I am planning and programming and know my shit.

                    Anyhow, I want a t-shirt that says "It's deload week" or something.

                    I've joined the Panda's Month of Resolve list to make me buckle down on the eating. Far too much dairy was creeping in and it was making me definitely bloaty (it doesn't help that my partner is doing GOMAD to put weight back on after he got so sick this summer). Too many gluten-free cookies and cakes sneaking in too. Just because it's celiac friendly doesn't mean it's *good* for me, just less bad, y'know?
                    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                    Owly's Journal

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                    • I am starting to feel heartbroken by the number of women around here who seem to really, really hate their bodies. I have a history with an eating disorder and some major body image issues, and I wish I could go back and tell my younger self how beautiful she was and how amazing her body is and will continue to be.

                      I feel sad when I read that people who sound completely healthy and normal sigh that they can't possibly wear skinny jeans, or a bikini, or a short skirt, or whatever. How perfect do we demand our bodies become before we simply enjoy them? I don't have stick legs--my thighs measure 24" around at their widest point, my calves 15". I have a prominent squatter booty and have a hard time getting pants that fit both my legs/butt and my waist. But you know what? I only get one body in this life, and while I can work to make it the best, strongest, healthiest version of my body, I can't trade it in for a willowy ectomorph figure, so I'll embrace my strong shoulders and thick thighs, and dammit, I'm going to wear a bikini if I damn well feel like it.

                      I'm not saying I'm madly in love with my cellulite, but I don't think hating it is going to fix anything.
                      “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                      Owly's Journal

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                      • Originally posted by Owly View Post
                        I am starting to feel heartbroken by the number of women around here who seem to really, really hate their bodies. I have a history with an eating disorder and some major body image issues, and I wish I could go back and tell my younger self how beautiful she was and how amazing her body is and will continue to be.

                        I feel sad when I read that people who sound completely healthy and normal sigh that they can't possibly wear skinny jeans, or a bikini, or a short skirt, or whatever. How perfect do we demand our bodies become before we simply enjoy them? I don't have stick legs--my thighs measure 24" around at their widest point, my calves 15". I have a prominent squatter booty and have a hard time getting pants that fit both my legs/butt and my waist. But you know what? I only get one body in this life, and while I can work to make it the best, strongest, healthiest version of my body, I can't trade it in for a willowy ectomorph figure, so I'll embrace my strong shoulders and thick thighs, and dammit, I'm going to wear a bikini if I damn well feel like it.

                        I'm not saying I'm madly in love with my cellulite, but I don't think hating it is going to fix anything.
                        I totally agree. I too, thought I was fat/ugly/unworthy when I was younger. Now, I would never want to weigh what I weighed in college--107 lb, 5'6".

                        In addition, as someone with cerebral palsy and all that entails-- contractures at the wrist, very little use of one hand, negative flexibility in my ankle, calves and arms that quite different in size-- I want to scream when I hear, "my thighs are fat, I'll do anything to be thin and muscular."

                        My body is not "normal" by any standard. It has however served me well for almost 56 years. I given birth to 3 children, including a set of twins. I am healthier and more fit than many people I know. The list of positives that make up my life is endless.

                        Is there room for improvement? Absolutely yes, in ALL aspects of my life. I am simply not going to stress/obsess over the elusive/impossible "perfect body". I am going to focus on choices I can make on a daily basis that enhance my health and overall well being.

                        My body is what it is and will be what it will be. I am SO much more than the "shell" I inhabit.

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                        • Marcadav, that's awesome. I'm glad you can view your body with love and caring and make choices that centre on wellness instead of thinness.
                          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                          Owly's Journal

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                          • Okay, going to say it here rather than elsewhere:

                            What the fuck does "the last 10 pounds" mean anyhow?

                            Is it the last 10 pounds before someone hits a healthy BMI?
                            Is it the last 10 pounds before you get to the weight you were in high school"
                            Maybe the last 10 before you hit 18 on a BMI chart?
                            The last 10 before that impossible weight some magazine told you all women should be?
                            The last 10 pounds of fat that keeps you menstruating?
                            Or maybe the last 10 pounds of essential body fat that's keeping you alive?

                            I have no goddamn clue. I feel like I lost my last 10 already (shifts in body comp aside), but I'm sure in some people's eyes around here my thighs are unacceptable and my 150 pounds makes me a whale.

                            The "last 10 pounds club" sounds to me like the "I will never be happy with my body no matter what the weight club" a lot of the time. Maybe not everyone who says they're at the last 10 is part of that group, but I feel like there are some people who can't be satisfied with anything ever, and it makes me unbelievably sad and frustrated.
                            “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                            Owly's Journal

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                            • I hear what you're saying. You sound seriously ripped to me, Owly. Grok on!
                              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                              • Ripped...LMAO! Maybe not so much ripped or shredded or whatever, but looking fit and strong and working on loving this body.
                                “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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