Lighter & Heavier

Lighter:

Joining the DietBet has really helped me focus on cleaning up my diet.  I tracked calories on MyFitnessPal for about 3 days before I couldn’t take the tedium anymore.  I decided to just continue being committed to basic healthy habits that secretly help me cut calories.  I was successful in limiting treats to very small things daily (~100 calories).  I also scaled back a bit on my protein portions and measured out carb portions (like rice and pasta) to limit that dense source of calories.  I *love* rice (brown or white) and potatoes and I refuse to give them up.  I’m not a big pasta person, but I happened to make spaghetti last week and then used up the leftover noodles to go along with this cold chicken salad (chicken breast, broccoli, onions, vinaigrette dressing) that was in my Urban Pl8 proteins for the week.  The net result of two weeks of good focused eating is that I’m down 4.4lbs (188.8->184.4)!  Hmm…maybe I should try a little harder all the time, no?

Heavier:

I’ve been running sporadically but most of my exercise comes in the form of CrossFit.  I just find it virtually impossible to motivate myself to run in the evenings after work.  However, I have no trouble going to CrossFit.  I think I need the group atmosphere to inspire me to exercise after a long day.  Morning exercise has only recently become an option for me, so I’ve been pretty heavy on the CrossFit since I was cleared to exercise @ 6 weeks postpartum.

I used to primarily attend the bootcamp CrossFit class which focused more on metcons than the more technical Olympic lifts.  Attending evening classes has been a really good thing for me.  The classes are longer so we have ample time to do pure strength work before metcons.  The other women in the class are tough and strong and they inspire me to work hard and get better every day.  Getting the chance to practice my technique frequently has obviously led to some improvement.  Finally, focusing more on lifting than running has been beneficial as well.  When I was training for ultras, CrossFit naturally took a backseat due to limited time and a desire to not trash my legs too badly for runs.  All of these changes mean that I’m lifting more than I ever have with (relative) ease and I love it!  I’m particularly about this because even though I’m getting lighter, I’m still lifting heavier I ever have before.

Deadlift 235->290
Back Squat 175->225
Front Squat 115->170
Overhead Squat 65->105
Push Press 100->120->130
Bench Press 120->135->140
Shoulder Press 90->110
Power Clean 105->135
Hanging Power Clean 115->120
Snatch 65->90
Split Jerk 115->130

These are just some of the improvements that I’ve seen. Some PRs have come over the years and +2 kids +150 lbs pregnancy/misc weight – 125lb postpartum weight loss. Others have only come in the past year after having Peri.  Numbers aside, I love feeling more comfortable doing things like power cleans, snatches and overhead squats (my nemesis lift!).

I feel like I have a ton of room to grow here and I look forward to seeing what I can do.  I have a few more months before I have to split my focus for marathon training so I want to accomplish some lifting goals.  First up is a 300# (minimum) deadlift.  The day I hit my PR of 290#, I first loaded the bar with 305# by mistake (coming off a 275# warmup).  I had my trainer tape my attempt because I wanted to make sure I didn’t bail out of fear.  I was only able to get the bar up a little bit and was annoyed with myself that I couldn’t manage a 5# PR.  Of course, my trainer then pointed out that I had overloaded the bar.  Doh!  I went back the other day to look at the video (below) and I got it higher off the floor than I thought!  Had I not jumped up 30# from the prior lift I just might have made it.  I *will* get that 300# by the end of the year, mark my words.  And I’ll get it at an even lighter weight than I’m sitting at now.

 

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Bet On It

I was sure if I was going to do this thing or not, but I decided to join in on my first DietBet.  Kimberly over at Manifest Yourself is hosting a 4-week challenge that starts today.  The challenge is to lose 4% of your body weight over the game period.  It costs $25 to participate and all winners split the pot.  It’s not too late to join!  You have up to 7 days from the start (today) to do your initial weigh in.

I was a little hesitant to sign-up because while this sort of thing can be motivation to really get my butt in gear, it can also have a more far-reaching negative backlash.  I hate getting scale-obsessed and that is something of a necessity for a challenge of this sort.  4% of your body weight doesn’t seem like a lot, but at 188.8 that means 7.5 pounds – almost 2lbs a week.  That’s a normal and not crazy number, but oh the pressure of needing to maintain near perfect weight loss for 4 weeks.

I do need a kick in the pants though as I’ve been maintaining a weight that is uncomfortable for me for far too long.  It is one thing to drag out weight loss when trying to lose that last 5 pounds, but I have about 40 pounds to lose.  I don’t want to be in the obese category anymore.

My gym is having a July diet challenge that I considered signing up for simply to have others to commiserate with in person.  However, the rules were just too crazy strict for me.  I know for sure that forcing myself to cut out all sugar, all bread/pasta and all fruit would just be too much.  That is the sort of challenge that leads to black or white thinking for me.  The rules create this de-facto standard – like that is the ideal way of eating – that I would constantly be failing to measure up to.  Constant failure would just lead to me saying why bother at all?  I think paying a little more attention to the scale for a month is a far better option for me at this time.

My plan for Week 1 is to do the things that I know work but to just be more consistent.  I need to limit mindless snacking and stick to 3 meals a day.  I’m also going to work on leaving a little food on my plate with each meal (just a few bites) to rather painlessly reduce my intake.  I am usually a proud member of the “clean plate club,” but I think I can handle this for a week.  I’ll re-evaluate how this level of strictness is working at the end of the week.  If I need to temporarily resort to tracking calories (ugh), I just might do so.

If you need a kick in the pants too, consider signing up!

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