I think it's absolutely appropriate to feel good
Oh well, that sounds a happy place to be.
Should it be inappropriate to feel good at my current size, thighs around 23 inches max, calves 16.5 and waist 30 inches? I had 18 inch calves and a 26-inch waist back in my twenties weighing around 133 lbs. I realise that's impossible to return to. Still I have a much more muscular upper body now, which I view as progress. It's good to feel stronger.
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.
I think it's absolutely appropriate to feel good
Tragedy has struck. I am out of butter.
Good day at the gym. Week 2 of this cycle of 531. Strict press, 5 sets of chinups to failure, and a quick 500m on the Concept2 rower.
Presses went better this week than last week. The calculations in my handy app say I'm hovering somewhere in the 70-75 pound range for my 1RM. I'm planning to test my actual maxes to see what the real gains are. I'm pretty sure I'm back where I was at least on my squats and deadlifts and may set PRs on those. I know I've improved my bench significantly and I think maybe some gains on my OH press as well.
Chinups are getting better. I've been able to string 4 straight for the last couple of weeks and I think 5 is just around the corner. Once that happens I will do a happy dance around the gym and then consider whether I want to try weighted ones yet.
And oh, I do love the rower. I wish I had room for one at home, but there's really nowhere to put it.
The last ten pounds. Since I'm not as mentally healthy about weight as I should be, and I'm very small boned, I think of it this way: <120 lbs = hot; <130 lbs = looking pretty damn good with room for improvement; <140 lbs = lookin' a little matronly. After that I start beating myself up. I'd love to accept my weight no matter what, but it's a hard thing to do. So I guess for me, the last ten pounds is when I'm in the high 120s. I'm improving my mental image, but I tend to set standards for myself that are unrealistic. For eg., I think Tyne Daly is gorgeous with that long flowing silver hair and that plump body. But if I looked like her, it would make me feel like a failure. Okay, that was probably tmi, but it was less expensive than an hour in a shrink's office.
I'm all for saving people time in the shrink's office!
I think it's fine to have a weight range you'd like to be at--I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all. I have a size I like to be (weight is less my concern) and a level of fitness that I want to be at, and that's totally reasonable and part of setting goals. Wanting to lose 10 pounds isn't the issue.
The problem for me comes in when people have this idea that they must weigh a certain amount and until they get there they are a hideous, disgusting fatass beast. I hear people trashing their own bodies and other women's bodies by extension. Going on about gaps between thighs or saddlebags or whatever, especially from someone who is already really slim, sends an implicit message to other women that they are also disgusting and should wear a burlap sack until they finally hit the magic sexy weight or have a space at the tops of their thighs or whatever. I also feel heartbroken to think of what it's like to hate your body all the time. I've been there, and the stuff I said to myself I wouldn't say to my worst enemy. Honestly, I won't talk to my friends that way, why is it okay to say it to or about myself?
I think we need to take the time to see the good things about ourselves and be honest about the bodies we have. I'm not going to be a willowy pubescent model or petite gamine at 35 years old with my body type (nor am I going to be a Christina Hendricks/Nigella Lawson busty bombshell). I'm a tall-ish mesomorph with a naturally athletic build and broad shoulders. I can lament the fact that I'll never have a space between my thighs, or I can work to take advantage of what I do have--long legs, the ability to build some pretty sexy muscle, a fabulous back and shoulders--and celebrate what I've got. Instead of fighting to be something I'm not and trying to starve myself into being a teeny wraith of a woman, I can work to be the best, healthiest, fittest version of me that I can.
And that's the thing about the never-satisfied "last 10 pounds" crowd that bothers me. It's not the idea that one might want to lose a little more weight--it's the approach to the body as ugly and unloveable unless it's perfect.
So I had a weird workout last night. Everything started off well. I did a nice quick 500m row in 1:58. Not the absolute fastest I could do, but a nice speed for a warmup. I then moved into my deadlifts--week 2 of 531--and did really well, cranking out 10 reps at 190 pounds. The last time I did that weight was week 3 of last cycle, and I did it for 7 reps that time, so I'm definitely improving.
So far, okay, although I felt pretty dizzy after that last set. But then I went to do my hanging leg raises and it all went to hell. I made it through the first set and felt kind of crappy and nauseated. After the second set, I felt like I was going to hurl and had to sit down. Usually I do 5 sets of 12, but I ended up cutting things short and got my partner to drive on the way home. I felt pukey the rest of the night, although I didn't actually hurl. No food after because my appetite was shot, so I just drank some coconut water, which seemed to help. This morning I felt pretty okay and had a nice breakfast of eggs with avocado and salsa at about 10:30.
No idea what all that was, but it sucked. Maybe I just overdid it, or maybe it was a transient stomach bug. Who knows? Anyhow, rest day today, and then tomorrow it's on to week 3 of the cycle starting off with bench press. Whee!
Great rant this month from Stumptuous. This is why I don't do intentional IF. It's one thing for me to decide not to eat if I'm not hungry, but I think I could easily fall into the same toxic trap if I started pushing planned IF on myself.
Rant 66 December 2012: The First Rule of Fast Club :: stumptuous.com
Overhead presses last night. Made 8 reps at 65 pounds (which kicks ass considering that last time I only made 6 reps at 60). Next week we'll do a round of 1RM tests, so it will be interesting to see how that translates. The calculator on my Android app tells me I should be able to do 84 pounds, but I haven't done heavy singles for a while, so while the strength gains may be there, I haven't activated that pathway for a bit.
Still no 5 reps continuous for full hang chinups. I can feel it coming, but I think I burned out my arms a bit pressing and didn't perform as well on the chins. I'm not so worried about that--better to use up my resources on the main lift on week 3, I think.
Anyhow, I can definitely feel things today, not just in my arms and shoulders but all the way down my torso. This is good--it means I was recruiting all the stabilizers and stuff. Definitely a good lifting day yesterday.
I stopped at a nice local coffee shop after dropping the dog off at the vet this morning and got a whole milk latte and a gluten-free brownie for breakfast, and you know what? I don't even care. Brownies may be a sometimes food, but that means I can have one now and then and not beat myself up over it. Also, it was super good--dark and not too sweet, perfect with coffee. Yum.
I now know why my performance on the lift improved. I could feel all the muscles through my torso down to my waist for the next couple of days. I obviously recruited them more than I had been previously, which is awesome and means my technique is improving.
Last night was deadlifts. I did 9 reps at 200 pounds, which rocked. That wraps up week 3 of this 531 cycle. Before moving on to week 4 (the deload), this next week we're throwing in 1RM tests for all 4 lifts to see where we're at and whether the calculated 1RM is close to the actual. I haven't pulled any really heavy singles for a while, so we'll see if the 1RM really translates. I haven't quite hit the point where the final rep on week 3 is really close to my 1RM, but as gains slow, this will probably get much closer.
Next cycle I'm planning on adding in cleans, but I think we want to stay on a 4-day rotation, so I'm trying to decide which lift to put them with or whether to combine with something else. I'm not sure exactly what combination to set up (squats with OH press or bench press, or should it be deadlifts with one or the other?). Time to do more research. Also, I want to add in some more accessory exercises, but again, I need to do a little research to decide what to put into the mix.
I love this whole process of learning and programming. I feel like I've been doing lots of stuff for a while without fully grasping the "why" because I didn't have to think about it at my CF box where someone else did the programming. Now I am really digging into the science, the different opinions and training methods, and the details of technique and equipment. It's pretty cool for a research nerd like me. Soooooo much to learn.
Crappy thing today:
I am retaining almost 10 pounds of delightful premenstrual water weight. It feels like about 50.
Awesome thing today:
I broke the 100-pound barrier on my bench press and made 105 for a new 1RM PR! Considering that my previous 1RM was 80 pounds at the beginning of October, I'm doing pretty well. Putting 25 pounds on my bench seems like a lot, but I think I experienced some novice training gains because my CF gym almost never programmed bench presses, so I had not spent much time concentrating on that particular movement. Also, I shifted to a more powerlifting-oriented form, which allowed me to push more weight simply through improving technique. I wonder where I'll be at for my max by the end of 2013.