Saturday, April 20, 2013

just pumpin along...

 So I am back in the gym, as you know if you read my last update... I am on a high rep, short rest program, lifting as much as I can for 12-15 reps- which is pathetic by the way... Makes me feel really bad about myself when I collapse on the ground after 8 pushups. It is paying off though, it seems, because I am so swoll when I walk out of the gym that sometimes I can't bend my arms. I was sore for DAYS after my last leg workout. Just goes to show that anytime you start getting comfortable with a program it is time to switch it up. As evidence in the picture to the left of this text my shoulders are getting bigger and I am pretty happy about it. I have a lot of work to do- and I realize I am only going to get so far before this first competition, but I am feeling hopeful about how I will look after I cut. I just don't want to look small. That is my biggest concern, I don't want to look scrawny.
I've been seeing my chiropractor consistently since my hiatus and feel like I have a lot more mobility in my body than I did previously. We are working on my right shoulder right now, since I generally have chronic pain in it and it rolls forward. After that my goal is better chest and shoulder flexibility in general since I look like CT Fletcher when I squat with my hands practically on the plates!

As far as diet goes, I start cutting this tuesday. I got really lucky and got to push my cutting start day back a little because I was ahead with my pre-cut fat loss, but now it's time to get serious. I go in monday morning for a bodyfat test, just to see where I am at before I start my new diet. I don't think it will be much different than my last one as I don't see a lot of difference visibly, but my weight hasn't really changed and I think I have more muscle, so I might have less fat ;) that's how it works right?? Haha... My current workout has me feeling hungry ALL the TIME! So it has been hard to avoid extra snacks. I admit I have taken a few extra almonds here and there. I wrote a note to myself on the top of the jar to hopefully curb that.
I imagine when I actually start cutting and have to get serious I am going to have to put inspirational and threatening messages all over my kitchen to make sure I don't cheat. I know this portion of contest prep is all a mental fight. Ignoring your cravings and reaching a peace with hunger... I read a quote yesterday that I thought would really resonate in the next three months:
"If you're not suffering, you're not gonna get lean enough. That's what I've always thought. People ask me, 'How you feeling?' I say, 'I feel bad'. You're gonna feel bad if you're gonna get in good condition and I just know that's what it takes to get there and I'm willing to do what I have to do to get in this kind of conditioning." - Joe "the beast" Derousie
So I am thinking up little tricks to help me. Unfortunately sugar-free gum has been a fallback already. I know that the chemicals are horrible for me but sometimes when I am craving sweets just that little bit of satisfaction helps ease it. Also flavored lip balms and sweet smelling lotions and perfumes have been helping. I got a few new products this last week even though I couldn't really justify the expense. It feels nice to treat yourself to something sweet.
 In the meantime I am truly savoring my carbs- especially the berries which I hear I will be losing. I had a strawberry protein shake with my oats this morning and it was so so good. I don't take something like the flavor and natural sweetness of berries for granted at all anymore.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Back" in business

ok, horrible pun, I know! I saw a genius doctor who I will do a full post on later in the month and he totally put me on the road to recovery and told me I was good to work out. Seems I had several little issues that were coming to a head and creating what seemed like one BIG issue in my body. My feet tingling was most likely due to super tight Piriformus (surprise surprise, my giant butt muscles were tight) pressing on my sciatic nerve. He did some ACT on my piriformus among other things and the tingling in my feet is almost completely gone. Just a little here and there when I like hike up a big hill or something. He also worked on my back and shoulder and I have more mobility than I have in months. Again though, I will save the details for a full post later. Needless to say I am thrilled to be back in the gym and attacking my workouts with ferocity. I have moved into a new phase of my training, and if I didn't know better I would think Coach Taylor was trying to kill me. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger I guess ;) I am doing lower weights with high reps- which sounds like a walk in the park but instead equals feeling totally exhausted and like a wet noodle about half way through my workout. Little leftie is getting hit hard so I expect my biceps will be near symmetrical in no time!
This is me back in the gym and some dude is looking at me like "um why is this dumb girl taking pictures of herself at the gym?" oooor maybe he's thinking "what a babe, her back muscles are killer... I would ask her for her number but she is too intimidating" one of those two anyway...
Today is my back day and hopefully I don't undo all the good progress the doc made on me tuesday. I will just ice a lot and it will be cool. Blanche lives to help me with icing. And basically lives for any opportunity to lay on top of me so I can't get up and go anywhere.
Yesterday was my BIG CHEAT DAY! I asked my coach for one last chance to eat whatever I wanted before we start cutting and my wish was granted. I took a picture of my tummy in the morning incase it would never be the same again after my fun filled food day.  I ate what I wanted but tried to avoid refined sugar because I didn't want to have cravings for the rest of the week and have a sugar hangover.
Here is a little summary of my day and all the deliciousness it entailed!

Peanut Butter Toast and Kevita 
I still squeezed in 3 protein shakes... I love them 
Cinnamon oatmeal with sweetened almond milk
maximizing the peanut butter experience
Fucking Chips and Guac... that's right
"pre-workout" Waffle... I needed carbs
My handsome cheat day accomplice

My vegan canadian bacon and pineapple pizza on top,
his vegetarian garden pizza on bottom

Frozen banana and strawberry soft serve with
some coconut and sprinkles for good measure 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Out of the gym :(

 I supposed it was inevitable that I would at some point durning these 9 months face an injury that would take me out of the gym for a few days. I am grateful that it (seems like it) is minor. I am really missing my workouts though! Trying not to stress or be frustrated about missing time that I could be making gains and instead just be patient with my body and let it recover. Hoping that when I go back I will be fully recovered and ready to kill it! So I seem to have a pinched nerve or something in my back somewhere that is causing some tingling in my foot and maybe occasional muscle weakness in my lower leg. I can't tell if it is weakness or if it just feels shaky because the tingling sometimes moves into my lower leg. Either way, not rad, and I need it to get better. I have been getting some hot spots in my mid-upper back for a few weeks but I just started a new job that I know is contributing and I was hoping that in time my body would adjust and deal with it. Instead it seems to have gotten a little worse and for about a week now I have had tingling in my big toe on and off. On friday it progressed to my whole foot, and on saturday my lower leg a little. So I am on orders from my coach to stay out of the gym until it starts getting better, or I see a doctor. I have a call in to a sports med doctor my friend referred me to but I am kinda hoping it gets better on it's own because I am a poor single income dog mom. Doctors visits aren't in my budget. I have gotten a lot of good advice from doctor friends, massage friends, PT friends, and trainer friends and I am following all of it. Icing, stretching, anti-inflams, foam rolling, and core stabilizing exercises. I am also reducing my calories a little bit for the next few days so I don't fall behind with my bf goals while I am not in the gym. Really really hoping to be back in by wednesday at the latest!!!
In the meantime I am trying to stay focused on other things I can do to help prepare for the competition that don't require my body to work. I start officially cutting body fat next week and I know mentally I am going to need to be on my A game so I made this motivational poster for myself to help me stay on target. I left some space to add more stuff but I have the bulk of it down. I have progress photos, motivational memes I have been saving for months, photos of my favorite muscly ladies and photos of my friends that support my training. Also a few nice notes given to me. What inspires you in your training??
This wednesday I am scheduled to get one big cheat day before I start strict dieting. I will have to see if I still get the green light on this from my coach since I have been out of the gym a few days but my plan is to eat waffles with syrup AND pizza on wednesday... and lots of protein shakes- which I choose to eat on my cheat day because I looove them. Any other ideas for me?
Can't wait to get beck to the gym!!!