A Snapshot of My Day Everyday

I love being a teacher.  It’s a calling more than a job.   I like the people I’m working with.  I adore my students.  I don’t mean for this post to come off as a rant, but it might read that way in some spots.  This is an outline of my normal day everyday.  This is important because this schedule is having an significant impact on my bodybuilding program.  Training and food prep have had to change because of this schedule.

Our school has six class periods every day.  Most of us teach five periods, with one period free to plan, grade, have meetings, whatever needs to be done.  Out of those five periods I teach, only two are the same lesson, so  I need four different lessons ready for each day.  (Most teachers in my building only need two lessons ready each day.)  Because I’m new, I’m not able to work efficiently yet.  I’ve never taught these classes, so there are no previous lessons to use – everything is made from scratch.

Here is a rough sketch of what my day looks like on days there aren’t staff meetings…

3 am  First alarm goes off

3:15 am  Second alarm goes off and I get up.  Get dressed, feed the dogs, pack my lunch, grab a pre-workout snack (usually sweet potatoes), grab some coffee

3:35 am  Leave for gym

3:45 am  Start warm up and lift (yeah, new gym is very close to home)

5:15 am  Lift and cool down finished, hit the showers and get ready for work

5:45 am  Arrive at work

5:45 – 7:15am   Prepare for 1st, 3rd, and 4th periods.  This usually includes fighting with copy machines, finding someone to open the locked door where they keep the paper for the copy machines, stapling, hole punching, eating a little breakfast while moving

7:20-8:30am  Greet kids and teach the first class.  Teaching = never sitting.  Always moving. All of my classes need a lot of proximity management to stay on task.  I think that is age-appropriate.  They are 13 years old.  Can’t expect much frontal cortex activity at that age.  (Without cardio, my daily steps have increased by about 5000.  I haven’t even been riding my bike for a few weeks.  It’s too dark and takes too much time I don’t have.)

8:35-9:25am  2nd period is my planning period where I prepare for 5th period and 6th periods, if we aren’t having a meeting.  Try to plan ahead for tomorrow’s classes, too,  if I have time.  It seems like there is plenty of time, but the school doesn’t run efficiently so simple things take more time.  For example, many teachers don’t have printers in their rooms.  Things have to be sent to a network printer in the teachers’ workroom in the library.  I am lucky – my classroom is actually pretty close to the library.  So to print a piece of paper, I send it over the network, walk down to the workroom, pick up the paper off the printer, and then head back to my classroom. The entire trip from my desk to the printer and back to my desk is about 150 steps, through a total of six doors, two of which I need to unlock.  It’s nuts!  So inefficient!  They will look the other way if I bring in my own printer, but they won’t pay for the ink.  So goes the life of a teacher.  The more degrees and experience I have – well, that means nothing.

9:30-11:30am  Teach = walking

11:30am-12:00pm  Lunch, which is usually spent doing more lesson planning if I didn’t finish getting ready for the last two classes of the day.  I spend a lot of time trying to create activities while working around limitations.  Like how I have a class set of small white boards, but the school won’t provide dry erase markers.  Makes that useless to me until I buy my own.  Ugh.

12:00-2:00pm  Teach = MORE walking

2:00-2:15pm  Hall duty

2:15-3:00pm  Read email, clean up, gather up grading, and head home.  If there is a parent conference, departure is delayed.  I’m pretty slow moving by this point in the day.

3:15-6:00pm Grade papers, eat (a lot), watch Netflix to quiet down the brain.  I don’t eat much at work because I don’t haul a lot in.  I don’t haul a lot in because I’m not allowed to have a refrigerator in my room.  There is one in the building I can use, but t’s in the break room on the opposite side of the school.  I’ve seen it once before school started.  Never have time to go down there.

6:00-7:00pm  Try to relax and visit with hubby, but I’ve also got to prep food for the next day. Oh yeah – that includes making coffee. I have to bring a thermos of coffee each day. I was given permission to have a small microwave in my room. Didn’t ask for the coffee maker. I just heat a cup at a time.

7:00 pm  Begin bedtime routine…maybe.  It’s really hard for me to unwind and get sleepy this early.  The amount of sleep I’m getting every day isn’t consistent.  Varies between 4 to 6 hours.  Sometimes less, sometimes more.  Yes – I said less.  There have been a couple of 3-hour ‘naps’.  I know this isn’t good, but it happens.  I don’t let it happen for two nights in a row, though.   This is temporary, too.  I should be through the worst of this “new school” trauma by mid-October. <fingers crossed>

Some might consider postponing competition under these circumstances, but I won’t.  This is just my job.  My training and personal goals will help me survive it.  Over time, I’ll find ways to be efficient with my time as I learn how to exist in this new place.  I’ve been at this a long time.  The expectations teachers have of themselves and each other is that people will work as many hours as it takes to get the job done.  Administrators aren’t allowed to express it because of our contracts, but they have the same expectation.  And that’s how most teachers and administrators do the job.  I don’t have that expectation anymore because after almost killing myself to meet it, I finally realized this truth: THE JOB IS NEVER DONE.  It doesn’t matter how “caught up” you are, there is always more to do.  Being unhealthy, burning out, or dying sooner than you should won’t make you a better teacher.  Those I’ve worked with personally know I’m not exaggerating.  We’ve lost too many.

Setting boundaries is crucial.  I’m making sure I take one day off from the teaching gig a week.  A girl has to do laundry, food prep, and workout, right?  Once every few weeks, I get my nails done.  Maybe even get my hairs  colored. (It’s a salon day today and both will happen!) I gave up the massages, and I’m starting to think they need to come back.  I’m putting in about 60-70 hours a week with the teaching gig – which is what I used to do when I was unhealthy. But again – it’s temporary.  I’m allowing myself to work extra hours right now because I’m new.  If, at the end of this year, I determine that I cannot do the job more efficiently next year, I’ll get it fixed.

I’ve had to lower my expectations of myself during this crazy time.  I never did get a syllabus made and sent home.  I’m not giving up on it, might do it for second quarter, but probably won’t until second semester.  And that’s OK.  I’m learning everyday about how I want to do middle school.   There are some things about being a high school teacher I’m changing, but some things I’m not.

“No, you may not borrow a pencil.  I don’t do that.”

Pretty harsh for a 13 year old, but they will adapt.  Life is hard.  There are expectations. You need to bring your own pencil.

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45 Weeks Out – 3 Day Weekend! And “When Do I Start My Cut, Coach?”

Labor Day!  One of the most loved holidays by American teachers who’s school year starts before Sept 1.  That’s the weekend you get the extra rest you need after most energy is drained managing the chaos that is called “back-to-school”.  I’ve heard teachers talk about opening a year and comparing it other years just like the elders back in my home state of Minnesota talk about the “great blizzard of 19-whatever”.  Opening a school year is always hard.  I expected it to be harder for me, personally, just because this time around many things are new to me,  and it has met, if not exceeded, my expectations for difficulty.

So I’m chillaxin at least a day this weekend and blogging.  If you look closely, you can see the “L” key on my laptop has broken off.  I use “L” a lot – Love, Lift, Live…  Luckily, it still works.  Just a little awkward.

Joining the gym closer to my house was a smart move.   I’m not in love with the equipment (a bar weighed 40lbs, not the standard 45 lbs – glad I checked), but the gym’s location and  24-hr access make my life work better.  I’m able to get started earlier in the morning so I can actually finish my planned workout and have time to warm up, cool down, and shower before I want to arrive at school at 6 am.  I need to workout uber-early anyway.  I’m deadlifting at least twice a week now (YAY!!!!!!!) and this is one of those gyms that has a posted rule about loud noises.  It’s all good.  The eccentric part of my deads is a little harder now that I’m trying to be as quiet as possible.

I started the week wrong.  The plan was to get a lift done first thing Monday morning.   Alarm was set for 3 am.  A second one for 3:15 am.  Slept through both.  I woke up with the sun at 6:15, so I still had enough time to throw on clothes, grab food, and get to work with enough time to prepare for first period at 7:30.  Didn’t throw off more than that one day.

Sleep is OK.  I’m averaging about 6 hours a night, which is normal.  Not great, but if I have to get up at 3 am to make this all work, I’m grateful for 6 hours.  That’s the minimum I can do and feel human.  My goal for this 3-day weekend is an accumulated 24+ hours of sleep.  I treat sleep like some people treat cardio.  I have to – it’s my main strategy for controlling cortisol.  When I get enough sleep, I will drop water weight, too.  Two days in and I’m on track.  Check out  THESE numbers, baby.  BOOM!  Type-A-Overachiever Status!!!  It was a little tough this morning when I woke up early, but I put my head down and grinded out another TWO HOURS!

At the gym, things are moving along as they are supposed to now that I’m feeling better.  The program I was given a the beginning of August is unlike anything I’ve done before.  Since I’m working with a coach, I can’t divulge details, but it’s a daily undulating periodization program.  The exercises don’t vary, but the number of sets, reps, and loads do change from workout to workout.  Some days I’m training for hypertrophy, other days for strength.  I haven’t done a traditional bodybuilder body part split for months.  I like it!  Yesterday was the first time I did “singles” – many sets of 1 rep.  That was weird and fun.  And I’m deadlifting and squatting 2-3 times a week.  Sweet!  But squats are that exercise I don’t do well technically – which is why I’ve been doing overhead squats as a warm up for months.  My squats are still not great and not heavy, but they feel more solid.  Let’s check video…

This video was from last November.  (Advance it to 1:08 to see a similar weight on the bar.)

This video was recorded yesterday…

 

As of yesterday, I am 45 weeks out from my next competition.  Could be 41 weeks if I decide to do another local show instead.  I think I have about 25 pounds to lose and I’m anxious to get started.  Probably more anxious than my coach. The directive from our last Skype session when we went over my latest DEXA results and this new program was “stay the course”.   I am anxious to do a mini-cut, though.  My clothes are getting tight and I’m uncomfortable.  I’ve gained about 7 pounds since last November – that’s pretty decent for an “off-season”, I guess.  And I’m burning more and eating more.  Carb intake is up from an average of 160 grams per day last November to 270 grams a day now.   Some days I’m up around 320 grams.  But I want to lose weight as  s    l    o    w   l   y   as possible.   Starting soon would be awesome.  I think I need to start my prep at 40 weeks and will need to be convinced otherwise.

Competing is what keeps me motivated, but it’s not the end-all-be-all.  Living this way is how I stay balanced.  I need this to keep from losing myself trying to meet expectations of others.  Especially now that I’m working in a building where I have observed that the unspoken expectation is that teachers will work 10-12 hours a day.  At each staff meeting, there is a “thank you” ceremony for someone who has “gone above and beyond”  (which is secret code for “volunteered to work more than the 7.5 hours a day we are paid” – most of us do, but I’ve managed to cut my hours down from 70 a week to 40-45 a week, until now).  The rewards have included candy.   It’s an unhealthy expectation/reward combo.  I’m a bit flexible with my diet, sure, but because I train how I train, I can be flexible right now.  Not sure if/when I’m going to point out that they are rewarding stress with sugar.  I can see the effects of long term stress in my new colleagues.  Long term elevated cortisol will change how the body stores fat.   I’m not judging – I’m worried for them.  So much younger than me and on the same path I was on.  So, do I say anything?  Maybe, but it usually doesn’t work.   Rather just do my thing and let people ask when they are ready to know.   But this is why I need to re-establish my boundaries and stick with the program.  I’m surrounded by new people who didn’t know me before.  A few have seen my pics, but they didn’t watch me do it.  They have no idea and aren’t going to be as supportive as my friends at my old school.

These boundaries ultimately have made me a better wife and teacher.  This recharges me.  This prepares me to handle the stress each day.  Always working toward a goal helps me keep the day in perspective.  It makes me happy.

 

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46 Weeks Out: Surviving Middle School…Barely

Please excuse typos – I’m writing fast because I have no time to be writing at all.  

First two weeks of teaching done and they were rough.  I have five classes each day and four of them are different preps.  This is a harder teaching assignment than what I was told about last spring.  I’ve been putting in 10-11 hour days six days a week.  I’m taking a break from lesson planning on this Sunday morning to write this update.  I don’t want the blog to fall too far behind.  It’s my journal and it looks like this year is going to be a roller coaster.

I worked through a cold last week that took my voice on Thursday and Friday.  Luckily, our rooms have “audio enhancement” so I could whisper into this mic and still teach.  I’m frustrated.  I’ve cried a bit.  But I’m learning.  The kids are great and the staff is supportive.  I’m slowly adjusting to having all my daily routines changed.  This school has a LOT of staff meetings – so prep periods and after school time isn’t always an option, so I’ve been arriving at 6 am to have four different classes ready to go by 7:30.  Last year, I had first period planning period, so I could arrive at 7 am and be ready by my first class at 8:30.

The new job has made training a challenge.  I live about 20 minutes away from my gym, which wasn’t too much of an issue when I worked at my old high school because it was on the way.  But my new school is only 4 minutes from home by car.  The gym doesn’t open until 4 am, I now have an extra 40 minutes of travel time, and the workout with a longer warm-up, made it really hard to get to work by 6 am.  I’ve been able to lift on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  Problem is that I’m on a 4-day split right now.  It has taken me almost three weeks to get through two week’s worth of lifts.  That’s no good.  There is an Anytime Fitness about 5 miles from home, so I joined my third gym a couple days ago.  Not only is it closer, I don’t have to work around gym hours.  Hubby and I are sharing a car and he needed it today, so this morning, I got my lift done and was home an hour before my regular gym opens on the weekend.  (I have one of those rare uber-cheap lifetime memberships to 24 Hour Fitness, too.  But because their clubs here are way across town, I don’t go there much.)

Good news is that I’m burning calories like crazy, so I’m not too stressed about eating more to keep up my energy.  Even on days I don’t workout or bike to work, if I’m teaching, my daily burn is around 2700.  That’s about 500 calories more a day than it was on a non-workout day at my old school.  I suppose my body will acclimate to middle schoolers and start to be more calorie efficient at some point. Hope not.  When it’s time to cut, it will be just that much easier.

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I wear this mic around my neck and there are speakers in the ceiling of my room. I love it.

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48 Weeks Out – Quick Update

It’s been a very busy week of faculty meetings and prepping for school to start next week.  I have a lot to do this weekend and don’t think I’ll have time to write again.  I’m overwhelmed as I prepare to teach three new classes in a new school to kids younger than I’ve ever taught.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to teach routines and procedures.  Or behavior skills, for that matter.  It’s also quite invigorating.  I’m excited to be nervous again.

Met with my coach on Monday.  Always energized by those conversations.  He sent me a new lifting program, which looks like it will be as challenging as the others he’s given me, but in a different way.  I thought for sure he’d want to start a cut, but no.  No change.  Continue to keep protein and fats the same everyday and eat more carbs each day to bring intake up to match burn, give or take a couple hundred.  He said we might increase food later.  That was unexpected.  Increase?  Cool.  Guess my progress pictures are OK.

I started the new lifting program on Wednesday.  Took yesterday and today off from lifting. One was a planned rest day, but today was an extra day off because I strained my low back that day. I did very light squats, but I haven’t done them in months, so the body rebelled a bit.

At 7:15 pm this evening, I syched my BodyBugg and saw that I’ve already burned more calories today than I do on a regular rest day.  The projected burn is going to be close to 3000 and that’s a new high for me. Biking to work, on my feet all day setting up my room, and then biked home.  I wonder how a ‘regular’ teaching day is going to go next week?

Heading back to the kitchen for more food.   :)

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49 Weeks Out – Progress Pics of Room and Me

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Jump start last week was fun.  I only had four 7th-graders.  It was a nice way to ease back into the routine.  I was able to make some progress getting the room pulled together.  I was too fixated on getting two bulletin boards recovered – the pink and red one.  This is likely not my final form for this board, but it’s OK.

My teacher meetings start tomorrow with my new colleagues.  I should be more ambitious – food needs to be prepped, laundry folded – but I’m writing and watching Hulu.  Holding onto my relaxed self while I still can.  Tomorrow is a rest day, so I have some time in the morning to pull meals together for the day.  We have meetings almost every day, meet and greet with parents one evening, I have to finish setting up the room, and do some lesson planning.  I’m starting from scratch with everything at this new school.  I’m sure I will be overwhelmed.  Yeah – chillin’ right now.  Calm before the storm, I suppose.

I got some good news last Friday!  Or at least I’m happy about it.  Got another DXA scan a couple days ago.  The last one was done back  in February after a mini-cut phase.  Two days after that DXA, my husband had his car accident.  (He is doing great, but there were a lot of life and financial complications that are on-going.)  And then I had to change jobs.  The last six months have been the most stressful period of my life since my mother died in 1990.  It was truly a test of my new life as a bodybuilder.  There were plenty of days when I didn’t want to workout.  I’ve only been at this for five years, so it would have been easy to slip back into my old ways.  I know I have a cortisol issue, so stress isn’t something I can take for granted.  I’ve had these DXAs done a couple times a year since 2011.  When under stress before, I’ve lost muscle and gained fat while lifting and doing cardio.  This time around, I’ve been avoiding cardio since that can be a cortisol trigger for me.  My plan was to eat enough to keep the muscle growing, but not so much that I would gain a ton, but I knew I’d gain some fat.  That’s how I work.  But I was still not sure what to expect.  It was entirely possible that I would gain fat and lose muscle again.

It looks like I’ve gained about a pound of lean mass and six pounds of fat since February.  I’m thrilled to have gained any lean mass at all considering the stress.  I expected about 5 pounds of fat, so that wasn’t a shock.  Not concerned.  I started biking to work this last week.  Between the biking and teaching on my feet all day, I should be able to create a sufficient caloric deficit without having to cut much food.  Meeting with my coach tomorrow – hoping for some big changes in the program.  Because I’m a bit fluffy, I’d like to start a cut and I really need a new lifting program.  Some things have worked very well, but other things are just frustrating and it would be nice to do something else.

Progress pics – this should be my most “fluffy” phase.  My picture from May is first, then today’s.  I am about 3 pounds heavier today than in the May pics.  I don’t see much difference, but I’m not good at judging my own progress.  I gained grams most places – that’s hard to see right now.  I only know that from the DXA scan.  I can’t flex fluff.

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May 2014 / Aug 2014

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Top: May / Bottom: August

Pictures like these stir up negative thoughts like mud from the bottom of a clear pond.  The best way for me to deal with it is to share the pics and move past it.  As uncomfortable as I feel physically, I believe I only need to lose 20-25 pounds over the next 11 months – and that’s not extreme at all.   I’m working with a coach who has the experience and perspective about making prep work with life that I need right now.  Just anxious to get started.

 

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50 Weeks Out

The goal this week was to get my new classroom pulled together just enough so that I can start working with kids next week.  My new school is doing a summer jump start program for kids who might need a little refresher to get off to a good start.  It’s just a couple hours in the mornings for four days.  The actual school year doesn’t start until August 11th.  I’m not finished, but there is room for kids to sit down, I can use my desk, and I have a pretty good idea where things are at.  I’ll deal with the rest – recover bulletin boards, unpack more boxes, organize my desk – next week after the munchkins go home.

The fun part of going through all this stuff I’ve saved for so many years is that I’m finding things I can use in middle school.  I found a baggie full of laminated fraction cards!  No use for those in calculus, but I will be able to use them in 7th grade math.  I found old games and activities I haven’t used in years.  I’m excited.  I’m certain there will be challenges.  I’ll handle them as they come up.

Started using my new wheels!  I don’t have far to go – a couple miles.  If I take the shortest route, the ride is uphill for the first mile.  It is a HIIT for the first 15 min and easy going for the last 5 min.  Perfect on days I want a HIIT.  If I go the longer route to avoid the steep climb, there is still an incline, but it is longer and not as steep.  That route takes me about 25 min.  Coming home is a breeze – all down hill!

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Lifting is… uneventful.  I was able to do what needed to be done.  To be honest, I’m really, really bored with this program.  There is only a week of it left assuming my coach has the next phase ready to go shortly after we talk.   I’ve made the workout with push-ups more interesting by changing the variations.  This is what I did today after nine sets of bench press…

This was part of an upper body volume workout.  Afterwards, I snapped a pic of my arms and decided to compare them to my last two shows.  2012, 2013, 2014 in that order.  It’s so hard for me to see anything with that layer of fluff on me, but I have to believe there is progress here.  It’s been two years, after all.

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My moods continue to swing.  (I wonder if I should track this?)  It’s been like this most of the summer.  Pretty blue today.  I don’t think it’s due to one thing.  There have been some pretty nasty real-life stressors in our lives since February.  Hubby and I keep each other going by reminding each other to live in the moment.  Our “normal” has changed and it’s just a matter of getting acclimated to it.  I always get a little anxious as a new school year approaches.  This one is a big one – new school, new level, new everything.  I have a steep learning curve that will last all year.   I’ve been told that I can’t have a fridge in my room, which is a drag.  I used to cook a week’s worth of stuff and store it in my room.  That simplified my food prep a lot because I didn’t have to deal with bringing food each day.  So now my food prep routine will need to change, too.

So the new stressors, the new school – all weighs on me when I’m in the world dealing with life.  At the gym, I can forget for a bit.  Yesterday, Hubby and I drove an hour, took a short hike up a mountain in high desert terrain, turned a corner and found this waterfall oasis…

It was an amazing thing to find because we are having a severe drought this summer.  Secluded and peaceful.  We both felt rejuvenated.  We will need to find a quiet spot with trees and water that is closer to home.  We have a plan for exactly where that will be.  There is a lovely, large park not far from us.  Hubby likes to do photography there.

I’ve been thinking about ways to simplify my life again.  Changing schools was one big change to make life simpler.  Now, I’m looking at how I use social media.   I want to keep blogging.  It’s how I process things and how I document my journey.  I think I will do less direct posting on the LMS facebook page.  Most days, I just don’t feel I have anything to offer.  In real life, I am a wife and a teacher and both of those things have always been more important, and both require more of my time now.  Anyone who has a page knows it’s more work than people expect and there is a certain amount of drama.  I can’t handle either right now.   I expect learning how to be a middle school teacher is going to take a lot of energy.

 

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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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