51 Weeks Out

We’ve been having a bit of a heat spell here this week.  I’ve had a hard time getting sleep.  My body is holding a bunch of water.   A “bunch” = weight jumped 4 lbs in one day.  Last night, I took a couple OTC sleep aides and managed to get a fitful 7 hours of sleep laying in bed for 9 hours.  Weight dropped a pound because of that.  Need that sleep to keep the cortisol levels normal so the body won’t be stressed.

There seems to be something going on with my right shoulder – nothing serious.  Feels a little inflamed, not injured.  I have pain in my right forearm that feels like nerve pain.  I rarely take anything, but I just took some ibuprofen to see if that helps.  Right hip has been tender for a couple weeks now, too.  I suppose the extra water I’m holding isn’t helping things.  When I get to the gym this afternoon, I’ll do some extra stretching.  I need to do more mobility work anyway.  A tight budget has cut out massages and my scoliosis and deformed feet cause a lot of aches and pains in general.

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A few things are going well.

I did get a bench PR this week!

 

Not an epic lift in the big picture, but this lift was going no where for the longest time.

I bought a couple new tank tops to wear to the gym.  I needed larger ones because mine are getting tight across the upper chest.  That’s really awesome!  Means my chest and/or my back are growing.  I don’t think I’m growing evenly though.  The left pec is larger than the right, just like the left lat is bigger than the right one.  My left side compensates on barbell work because of the nagging impingement pain I’ve always had in the right shoulder.

I meet with my coach again at the beginning next month.  I am hoping I will get to start the “cut before the cut” we have talked about.  I’m not too heavy, but I’m fluffy enough.  For this next show, I want my conditioning to be better.  However, I am nervous about what my formerly-obese-50-something-post-menopausal body will allow to happen with fat loss.  That’s why I’ve been trying to eat more without doing any cardio.  I’m trying to set up for a long, gentle, efficient contest prep that gets me on stage leaner than I’ve ever been in my life.

I’ve lost my enthusiasm for food prep and logging.  I’ve felt myself wanting to rebel.  So I’m taking a break from logging for a couple weeks before the cut starts.   I can get a little OCD about macros, which is why the break is needed, but I will have to be mindful about getting enough protein when I’m not measuring and logging everything.  I’ve done this before and know that the issue will be eating enough, instead of eating too much as you might expect.  I’ll start logging again as soon as it bugs me or when I get new macros, whichever comes first.

Since I’m holding water, I expect that today I’m at the heaviest weight I will be at during this off season.  So I took a picture.   And video of my latest battle with overhead squats.  I’ve worked  up to 10 pounds now!  I bench 120 lbs, but can only do 10 lbs on an overhead squat?  I think I’m being conservative.  I bet I can handle 20 pounds.  Hahahaha!

No thigh gap on this gal!  Hoping there has been some quad growth under that layer of fluff.  I’ve done a LOT of occlusion work on the quads and glutes these last few months.  There isn’t much I dislike about what I do at the gym, but single leg hip thrusts with blood-flow restriction – well, that’s not fun.  No ma’am.  Not fun at all.  It better be working, that’s all I can say.

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Have There Been Improvements During My “Improvement” Season?

I still haven’t picked a specific show, but the plan is to compete somewhere in mid July 2015.  There have been so many changes in my life this year (Hubby’s accident, new job) that I cannot assume everything will go as planned for the rest of 2014.  I’m taking each day as it comes, but I need a goal.  So  “July 2015″ is the target and I will begin the first cutting phase in August or September. (Coach calls it “the cut before the cut”.   I’ll tell you about it when I know more.)  I have about a month or two left before I have to switch gears.

Am I making any progress???

Body Composition

I’m feel like a marshmallow covered rock.  Very solid on the inside, more so than I’ve ever felt.  But I’m a tad fluffy on the outside.  I haven’t been “bulking”.  I watch my burn and eat as much as I’m using, plus an extra 100 calories  most days.  My current weight has been fluctuating between 151 and 155 pounds for the last two months.  My body weight at the end of last November was 153.  The last time I was on stage was a year ago, June.  It was around 135 then, but it wasn’t what I would call a ‘healthy’ 135.  I did a traditional water depletion for that show, so once I was rehydrated, my weight jumped up to 140.  I don’t ever want to do a water depletion again, so 140 should be considered my last ‘stage weight’, in my opinion, when considering how much over ‘stage weight’ I am right now.  (I wasn’t lean enough at that show.  To avoid water depletion, I need to be leaner. )

I kept my weight under 145 from June until the Strongman competition last September so I could compete in the smaller weight class.  After that competition, I let it creep up to the low 150′s.  Last winter, I did a very gradual cut and dropped as low as 149, but gained a couple pounds back when the cut was over at the end of February.   I’ve maintained in the low 150′s since then.  I feel good in the low 150′s.  I had a DEXA scan done last October and my bodyfat percentage was 26%.  I bought one of those handheld impedence monitors a few days later so I could check it at home.  It’s reading was 27%.  Close enough for me to keep an eye on it.  That number hasn’t changed, so it’s hard to tell from the scale and that device if I’ve improved my body composition much.  I feel like there is more muscle.  But I know from years of DEXA scans that when I’m anabolic, I gain everything – muscle, fat, and bone density.  My bodyfat will always be calculated higher than it appears because I’m older and have more visceral fat around my organs.  Mirror is more important than the number, but I care about the percentage.  If I’m gaining fat, I better be gaining muscle, too.  I am pleased that I’ve been able to keep things fairly consistent.  But is that an “improvement”?

So I looked at other data.

Food

I use a Bodybugg and the website has the capability to generate reports.  This is interesting data.  I compared the month of December 2013 to June 2014.   The reports I ran calculate averages for 28 days.  Remember, my body weight has stayed within a couple pounds of 153 for the last seven months…

Average Daily Calorie Burn Average Daily Calorie Intake Average Daily Carb Intake
Dec 2013 2147 1864 156 g
June 2014 2254 2391 249 g

 

I’m encouraged by these numbers.  I haven’t been cycling carbs according to a plan, but rather I cycle them up and down depending on my calorie burn for the day.  My hope is that I’m setting myself up for an effective contest prep.

Lifting

The programming I’ve been given has been solid, but I haven’t done the big three lifts (bench press, squat, deadlift) consistently.  One of those lifts has always been there, but not all three at the same time.  I’ve been doing a LOT of rowing to bring up my mid back.  I’ve been doing occlusion training to bring up my quads and glutes without having to do heavy squats because I suck at squats.  I use my back too much on deadlifts, so I’ve been doing partial deadlifts since May.  To be honest, I’m not really in love with the current program, but  I’m going to stick it out until August.  I’ve been doing a lot of stuff to address weaknesses, which is why I’m not loving it.  It’s frustrating and I feel like I suck at it.  I record my form all the time and look for problems.  I find plenty.  Good stuff to do.  Just not fun.

Again I ask…how do I know if I’m making progress?

I use an app on my iPad called Gym Buddy to record my workouts.  Not a lot of bells and whistles in this app, but there is some good data.  Check out these screen shots about how my lifts have changed…

 

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Since I’m not doing the big three lifts consistently, I picked few things that I’ve been doing and looked at that data…

Some Upper Body Lift Stats

  • Hammer Smith Row: up 115%
  • Seal Row: up 19.1%
  • One Arm Dumbell Row: up 58.5%
  • Bench Press: up 22%
  • Kettlebell Overhead Press: up 5.7%
  • DB Curls: up 25%
  • Tricep Rope Pushdowns: down 19.4%

Some Lower Body Lift Stats 

  • DB Split Squats: up 29.9%
  • Partial Deadlifts: down 4.1%
  • Hex Bar Deadlift: up 45.8%
  • Calf Raise: up 101.1%

These stats are a tiny bit misleading.  The program uses all the data, no matter how long I’ve been doing the exercise.   Some of these are new to my program.  You can see how many times I’ve done that exercise on the screenshots.  (I may not have included all the screenshots – just wanted to give you an idea of where the data comes from.)  I don’t think my triceps have become weaker – it’s just that I do that exercise at the end of a workout that starts with bench presses.  They are toasted!  I am having a hard time with partial deadlifts.  I don’t like them.  Decided to bring the weight down and work on technique.

Seal Rows

 

Mental Game

Overall, I should be pleased with how things are going with the lifts, but I’m not.  Nothing exciting, just putting in work.  I might just be a frustrated powerlifter-wanna-be.  I want to deadlift 250 pounds!  I know it’s there, but when I tried a couple weeks ago, the bar didn’t budge.  Squats were removed from this phase of my program, so I have no idea what I can do with that lift.  Bench is coming up very slowly.  I’m at the point where I’m not adding weight, but trying to add reps.  Heck, I feel like a wanna-be all the time.  Too old.  Too weak for my size.  Maybe this is just “off season blues” of an intermediate lifter?

So I’m struggling.  Like I said at the beginning, I’m just focused on what I have to do each day.  Small, daily goals to keep progressing.  I feel like I’m just crawling.   After my husband’s accident in February, a lot of things changed.  I’m a little overwhelmed dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, processing the crazy crap at work, the decision to transfer schools, and adjusting to the reality of all these changes.  The thought of competing seems frivolous today.  There is a show next weekend a couple hours from home.  It is one that I might do next year.  I’m going to make the drive to watch and hope it snaps me out of this funk.

And while I’m going through what is the most challenging period of my training life do date, I feel pressure to continue to be ‘inspirational’.  I’m sure anyone who has been following can tell I’ve been off my game.  I haven’t been able to write as much as I used to.  I haven’t been posting as many little pep-talks as I used to.  I’m stalled out.  It hasn’t been easy to be transparent with my program .  I post something meaningful to me on the page, or a current picture, and the ‘likes’ drop.  I am not looking for approval and I’m not interested in being a fitness personality.  I’m awkward and fluffy and OK with that.  I’m an introvert and my inclination is to NOT post.  I’d like to hide, do my thing, and post pictures from my next show.  But that’s not an honest way to document the process, which I want people to see.  I do it because I’m a teacher.  Health is more important than bodybuilding.  And by ‘health’ I also mean self-acceptance.  I like my fluffy self – she’s big and strong and healthy.  I’m not concerned at all about not being stage lean.  It’s not time for that.

I’ve got my daily routines and I love to lift.  No matter what else is going on, I’m grateful to be able to do this.  I know many of my peers cannot.

This is the grind.  I’ve been here before.  It will pay off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Eat Clean” vs “IIFYM”: Best of Both?

Disclaimer: this is not an educational article.  If you want to know more about Clean Eating or IIFYM, you will find oodles of information online.  Probably too much information, actually.  I’m writing this piece today to share how I’ve changed over time, why I did, and how I’ve blended the two nutrition philosophies in my current food choices.

I try to avoid it, but every so often, something blows up on Facebook about how to eat.  I thought the women on some fitness pages were bad, but the guys can get very aggressive.  I saw some bullying behaviors this weekend that would be actionable if it were done by kids at school.

I’ve said it before…

IT’S. JUST. FOOD.

We aren’t talking about politics or religion here, but…maybe we are?  In the fitness world, it sure seems like it sometimes.

I’m not an expert and I’m not going to cite research.  I’m going to share my nutritional evolution because I thought it was interesting when I reflected on how it has changed and why.  To be honest, what works for one person, may not work for the next.  We are genetically and environmentally different.  Heck – I’m different.  What works for me now wouldn’t have worked for me when I started.  My body is different now.  My daily activity level is different.  My body composition, chemistry, and my goals are what determine how I eat.  What used to determine how I eat was convenience and emotions.

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When I started in 2009, I knew as much as any regular person not involved in fitness.  “Eat healthier” meant “eat a vegetable every once in a while”.  I started by getting help.  I consulted with a nutrition coach once a month on the phone and through email between those consults.  She taught me how to log food, how to use the log to monitor how much I was eating, and she helped me with food substitutions that were less calorie dense so I could eat more while still creating a calorie deficit each day.  That’s how I gradually evolved into a “clean eater”.  Whole foods have fewer calories than processed ones, generally.  I also felt better eating whole foods.  Felt better not eating sugar, too.  Go back in this blog and I’m sure you will find a reference to how eating “food grown by God” seemed like the best way to feed a body.   I naturally moved away from sugar and chemicals in my food because it felt good.  Felt good psychologically, too, since I was at the beginning of my transformation.  I needed to do something completely different than what I was doing before.  

When I started bodybuilding, eating became more technical.  It wasn’t just about calories, it was about macros – proteins, carbs, and fats.  The bodybuilding culture has a short list of clean foods that some call “bro-foods”.  The bro-foods include eggs, chicken, tilapia, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, almonds, and olive oil.  I’m sure there a few things I missed.  I was going by my own memory.  But the gist is that there isn’t a lot of variety.  As in all things “food”, there is a social component to this approach.  There is a sense of belonging to a particular group if you eat like this.  Tuna!  I forgot tuna.  I remember when I was in my 20′s and first learned about bodybuilding from a guy who put a can of tuna on a baked potato.  That’s it.  I was fascinated.

In the last couple of years, the acronym, IIFYM, If It Fits Your Macros started flying around.  The basic idea is that a daily goal for each macro is set and what is eaten is not as important as hitting those targets.  This approach is infamous for the amount of processed foods, like Pop Tarts, consumed.  That’s the hype, not the reality for most who use IIFYM.   This is something I see discussed by guys more than gals.  Younger guys, in particular.   The online conversations I’ve read are dominated by guys.   They sometimes argue a bit about the merits of eating “bro-foods” vs IIFYM.

From the time I started bodybuilding and eating macros, I’ve been eating mostly bro-foods.  It was just easier – boring, but that didn’t bother me.  However, since the last time I was on stage in June 2013, I’ve been more flexible with my food choices.  Still following macro targets, but getting there with some foods that I used to think were “off limits”.  Some days are mostly whole foods – other days, not so much.  I’ve managed to keep my body weight and body composition fairly stable for the last year at a weight that is not contest lean. Instead, I’m about 15 lbs over stage weight at a body fat percentage that is healthy for a 52 year old me, 27%. (I may not get as lean as younger women because of visceral fat on my organs. I think i was around 15-16% when I’ve competed. That’s something I believe can be improved, btw). I am still over a year away from my next competition, so it’s all about lifting and recovery right now. .

Since I’ve played around with both approaches, here is what I’ve learned that works best for me.  Let’s keep score:

  • I feel better when I eat real food and not a lot of sugar.  However, being flexible has helped me put balance back into my life.  I had lasagna with the hubby last night.  Yum.   Clean = 1, IIFYM = 1
  • Because I’m in maintenance mode right now and my calorie burn each day seems to be creeping up, and the directive from coach was to keep fats and proteins stable, but cycle carbs to match the burn – well, I need carbs.  Lately, it seems I need more than you might expect and it’s easier to get them from non-clean foods like ice cream sandwiches.  (I get Skinny Cows because their macros are lower.  Some days, I only have room for one.  Other days,  two or three.)   Clean = 0, IIFYM = 1

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  • My bullet shake gives me more energy than just about anything I’ve ever consumed besides sweet potatoes. Clean = 1, IIFYM = 0

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  • Quest bars – not so much.  They’re good, but I don’t need so much fiber at one time. Clean = 1, IIFYM = 0
  • I don’t have a major problem with bread anymore.  I think not eating it often caused what I thought was a problem.  I keep the low-carb torillas in stock for the same reason I get Skinny Cow ice cream.  If I don’t have a lot of wiggle room, like on a rest day, I will use a tortilla instead of bread. Clean = 0, IIFYM = o

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  • Once a week, I don’t log food.  It’s usually a Saturday because that’s the day when the prepped food runs out and the new food isn’t cooked.  I end up eating fairly normally, but that’s also a day I’m likely to go out with hubby for a meal.  This is not a rule – it’s just something I’m doing right now to give myself a break.  I’m not in contest prep mode, so it’s OK.  A lot of people don’t log at all when they aren’t in prep mode.  I don’t mind logging.  I like data.  I’m a math teacher, you know. Clean = 0, IIFYM = 1 because I know what I eat on those days
  • I’m sitting in my kitchen right now.  As I look around I see apples, limes, bananas, squash, a beet, pears, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, dried cranberries, bread, and bagels.  Clean = 1, IIFYM = 0

TOTAL SCORES:

Clean = 4

IIFYM = 3

So I guess I’m basically a “clean” eater most of the time, but I’ve worked in some other things because I like them.  That’s how I eat now.  I could not have been as flexible when I started.  I didn’t have a structure in place, like the macro targets, to slam the breaks on binging.  Each day I have one of those moments when I’m hungry and just want to grab whatever, but don’t because 1) I am saving room in the macros for the rest of the day, or 2) I’m too lazy to log it.

I guess you could say that I’m using the structure IIFYM, but usually choosing clean foods to hit my macro goals.  I honestly don’t care to put a label on how I eat – it’s just food.  I eat to recover, to get stronger, to grow muscle, to be social, and some things just because they are yummy. When it’s time to cut, I’ll probably get better results this time around – or at least that is the plan.

 

 

 

 

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It’s My 5th “Other Birthday”!!

If you already know my story, skip down a bit for my regular update where you can see video of me NOT getting my deadlift PR today.  So sad.  

My Story – the moderately short version with links to other relevant posts.  (For the long version, start reading my blog here.  There have been people who have read the whole thing and said it was interesting – I am humbled and honored that they did that, but I won’t guarantee it is a great read.  I just documented what I was doing and feeling at the time.)

On June 19, 2009, I started my work to fix things.  That was a year before I started this blog.  I didn’t have the bodybuilding goal at the time.  I just didn’t want to die early from personal neglect.  By June 2010, I set the big, scary goal to compete.  While on this journey, I found my bliss.  I found me.

I let those extra pounds grow on me for years. Blamed age and menopause.   Too busy to do anything about it. My wake up call was in March 2009 with an ER visit for what I thought was a heart attack.  I was 47, overweight borderline obese, overworked, over-stressed, on high blood pressure meds, and the doc was considering cholesterol meds, too.  The ER people took it seriously – I was there for 4 hours while they observed and tested my blood for markers of a cardiac event.  It was negative “this time” the doctor stressed.  THIS TIME.  My mother died from a brain aneurysm when she was 56 and I was 29.  As I got older, I became fearful that I would have a similar fate.  And I put myself on that same path.  I had tried to lose weight using various programs and gained it all back.  I promised myself that this time, it would be the last time.

I knew I would have to change a lot of things.  I used the time from March until June to finish the school year and research my plan of attack.  As a math teacher, I love data.  On June 19, 2009 I bought a BodyBugg and the phone coaching that they offered at that time.  I told myself that since it was important enough to spend money on, and that this was the last time I would need to lose this weight, so I would damn-well follow directions.  Kim, my nutrition coach, taught me a ton and I was a good student.  I screwed up from time to time and she taught me to log it and plan around it.  She taught me that it didn’t matter what I did occasionally, what mattered is what I did most of the time.  She taught me to look at the week, not the day – and that applied to food and weight.  I learned to use the scale as a tool – watched the fluctuations and when they happened.  I learned how my body worked.

I spent the first year just doing cardio.  I either walked outside or used the ellipticals at the gym.  The ellipticals were up on the second floor and I would watch the people lifting weights.  I played on the machines a little, and even though I’ve been facinated with the idea of lifting for decades, I didn’t want to look stupid, so I was too intimidated to do much.  Lost 40 pounds and plateaued.  I’ve since learned a lot about why that happened. Started to research cortisol and realized that it was a major player in my life long before I started this journey. (I have a category called “cortisol” since I’ve written about it so much.)

By the spring of 2010, everything stalled.  I wasn’t motivated and I started to gain weight back even though I was still consistent with the diet and cardio.  About that time, I reconnected with a high school friend – someone who I admired for her spunk and courage – she lost her fight with breast cancer.  I realized that nothing is guaranteed and that maybe I needed to grow a pair myself, and start living my life on my terms.   I researched more and learned that I needed to lift to change my body composition.  And then I remembered – back in the early 80′s, I used to be fascinated with bodybuilding.  I loved watching women doing routines at competitions – I thought they were so beautiful.  I was a Cory Everson groupie.  I worked at the desk in a gym and remembered how I was enthralled by this guy’s meals – tuna fish and backed potato.  I remember thinking that it was so cool to have a goal so big that it changed how you ate.

So in June 2010, when I was 48, I hired a trainer to teach me how to lift, set the goal to compete the summer I was 50 years old.  Did it.  Twice.   I decided to take a year off to make progress without being interrupted by contest prep.  I’m working with a new coach and doing some new, interesting things with my program.

And that’s my moderately short story.

***

The Update…

This has continued to be an emotional time for me.  I didn’t just finish the school year, which is always a little bittersweet as my seniors graduate, but I also packed up and moved all my stuff to a new school.  I’ve started to feel a little closure and am getting excited to learn new things as I teach at a new level.

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I wasn’t planning on making this move, and had to make the decision rather quickly, but I have a feeling that this is going to be a good change.  I started packing and moving some boxes last week, but worked on it all day Monday and Tuesday, and half a day on Wednesday.  The lifting wasn’t heavy, but the volume was high.  I knew it took a lot of energy because my calorie burns were pretty high.  I had to ramp up the carbs I ate on those days to keep up with the burn.  I didn’t get enough sleep, as usual.  Skipped the gym while I was doing this move.  My legs and glutes were sore every evening, so I thought it might be a good idea to just power through the move and get back to the routine when it was done.

So today, since it was my “birthday”, I wanted to set a new deadlift PR.  Maybe I could do it even though I moved all those boxes for three days prior?  Um…no.  It didn’t work.  Oh well.  I’ll get rested and take another run at it sometime soon.  I am off for summer break until the end of July, so I need to just relax and work my program.  The PR will happen.

My mental game is off lately.  I don’t really enjoy the program I’m doing right now.  But I don’t think it is the program.  I think it’s just the amount of stress I’ve been under the last couple months.  There hasn’t been enough sleep.  This is a tough transition for me to a place and a program that I worked so hard to build and start over at a middle school.  I pulled a pec a couple weeks – that sucks.  Overall strength is stalled - also sucks.  Once I’ve had a few days of vacation, a few days of sleeping in, I’m sure I will get back into the swing of things.

However, I have been happy with the amount of food I’ve been able to eat without gaining weight.  I’ve been trying to keep my fats and proteins consistent and increase carbs as needed to be at maintenance.  The BodyBugg gives me the data I use.   I know that the big jumps in burn are connected to the increased activity of moving my room, so I’ll have to bring those carbs back down when my burn drops.  Maybe.  Sometime in the next week, I will get a bike which will be my main mode of transportation to work from now on.  And that means…more carbs for me!  Yay!!!  Well, at least until it’s time to cut.  I do have to admit that eating some fast food for a few days while I was moving my classroom was kind of fun, but it didn’t feel good.  My energy wasn’t great.  It was nice to have something more “normal” on the patio when I got home after dropping off the last load of stuff at the new school.  Chicken breast, broccoli slaw, radishes, green onion, Annie’s Papaya-Poppy Seed dressing with an ice tea…

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***
I tend to get so preoccupied with what I need to do each day that I don’t take time to appreciate what I’ve accomplished. In the last 5 years, I’ve gotten off meds, became healthier than I’ve ever been, competed in two bodybuilding shows, and participated in one strongman meet.  At 52, I feel like a beginner in a sport that I hope to be able to do for a long time.  I love to lift.  I love to set and achieve goals.  I even love that I fail frequently.   My ego takes a beating regularly. There is always something I can’t do – lots of things I don’t do well. But I’m making progress. That’s what I love about my new “hobby”.  It gives me hope.  It gives me something to strive for.  And I’m addicted to the endorphins – and that’s not a bad addiction to have.  

 

 

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Filed under Cardio, Competing, Cortisol, Life, Motivation, Teaching

Where Have I Been?

I have wanted to write.  It’s a busy time of year, but I also didn’t have anything positive to say.

I have time now.  Still not sure I have a lot of positive stuff to share.   I’ve been preoccupied with life.  The workouts are consistent and the food has been OK.  There is no way I would have been able to compete this year, so I’m glad I had already made the decision not to.

Finishing the school year has been emotional.  It’s always sad for me to say goodbye to the graduating seniors.  This year is harder because I’m leaving, so I had to say goodbye to everyone.  Many of my students are nervous about next year because for most of this year, we thought I was going to be their calculus teacher this fall.  I’m certain that transferring to middle school is a good decision, but I’ve been heartbroken for weeks.  Heartbroken and angry.  And that’s why I haven’t been able to write.  I shouldn’t share the details of what has happened, but I’ve wanted to.   I hope that what happened is an isolated event and is not happening at my new school.

Integrity and loyalty are important qualities to me.  I have the most internal conflict when they are at odds.

A fresh start in a new situation is exactly what I need.  And I am excited that I will be able to walk or bike to work.  I am still in the process of packing up my room and moving it.  That’s going to take a couple more days, I think.  I’ve purged a few times, and threw out a ton of stuff this time, but it seems like I have 9 years of paper clips and file folders.  Hahaha!

Please indulge me while I show off my wonderful kids…

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See?  That’s why I’m heartbroken.  Some are graduating and moving on.  But the younger ones – well, I feel like I’m leaving them behind.   There are a few who feel that way, too.  It’s a hard transition.

***

Meanwhile, in the gym…

I had a deload week last week.  Perfect timing for it.  I also had a minor pull in my right pec.  During the deload week, I didn’t do any chest work so it could heal.  Today was my first upper body lift after the deload.  After a few warm up sets of bench press, I loaded 115 pounds and tested it.  I wasn’t able to touch my chest with the bar.  Did two reps and dropped 10 pounds off.  At 105, I had full range of motion.  When I pulled the pec, I couldn’t even do light weight, so it was encouraging today.  I’m not sure if I couldn’t do the 115 or was just being cautious.

And in the kitchen…

My food intake is up because I’m packing and moving a lot of boxes.  I am using the BodyBugg to track calories burned and I eat all of them.  My intake is at maintenance or slightly higher.  I try to keep fat and protein grams consistent and adjust carbs up or down depending on the day.  I’ve had several days where the carb intake was getting pretty close to 300 grams.  I’m excited about that.  If I can get to the point where I’m maintaining my weight on 300 carbs a day, cutting will be so much easier.  If I’m eating that much more because I’m more active, that’s not exactly the same as having a faster metabolism, but I’ll take it.  My level of activity will be going up naturally since my commute to work will be on a bike or by foot.  And my new classroom is on the second floor.

 

 

 

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58 Weeks Out: Slayed by Flu Bug

At the beginning of this week, I was hurting.  Everything was sore.  I wasn’t recovering from lifts, wasn’t sleeping, cortisol levels up – I was crabby and not fun to be around.  I knew I needed a couple rest days.  Rested Wednesday and woke up Thursday feeling like something more serious was wrong.  I went to work, but put in for a sub as soon as I got there.  Last minute sub requests aren’t usually filled, so I was lucky to have someone come in by 3rd period.

By noon, I was so sick that I couldn’t keep any food down.  About mid-afternoon, a fever started.  I could only sip water most of the day.  The fever broke last night around 10 pm and that is when I was able to eat some toast and a banana.  I am still sick today, but I am better.  Today, I can eat, at least.  I don’t usually get sick like that.  I never lose my appetite.  I’m sure the intense headache was brought on by lack of food.

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Sick in bed with a concerned Tippy

This was coming on all week, I think.

Early in the week, I started to reflect on why I was feeling so crappy.  Thought I wasn’t taking enough rest days.  Thought I was just not sleeping well.  Thought I was just stressed.  Negativity started creeping in.  Started to feel old and silly – that’s my #1 insecurity that pops up when things aren’t going well.

Interesting how I never think of the obvious – my husband has this flu bug last weekend, so I should have thought of that first.

Today I am on the mend, but still feeling a little queasy and weak.  I am sad that I couldn’t go to work today.  I missed the senior prank and the senior assembly.  Hate to miss those things since I’m leaving that school and this is my last graduating class.

I will be back to the gym tomorrow – if not later today.  My mind is willing, but I’m not sure it’s the smartest thing to do.  Probably best to keep resting, drinking water, and eating today.

Here are some clips from this week.  (Sorry, I didn’t feel up to doing voice overs.):

Overhead squat practice…

I’ve created a page just for the overhead squat videos.  I’ve never done this to track progress with an exercise before, so I think this might be interesting.

Clips from the week…

 

 

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Overhead Squat Practice Videos

Week 1

 

Week 2

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Filed under My Lifting Log, Videos