Sorry about the pervy title. I wrote it, considered deleting it, but decided that a few mistakes should be broadcast. [For example, this weekend the boy and I were out with some friends and I sent him a secret text message across the table that said: “You’re handsome.” He (drunkenly) wrote back: “You lie. But, I want to kick your vagina.” I had to show it to the whole table.]
The time has finally come for me to share my goals with you! It’s been a bit of a process for me, with yucky cold and a super busy semester stuck somewhere in between. That being said, I think I’ve finally settled on some things that I want to achieve (slash) that are reasonably achievable.
So, here’s the story. During the first month of NROLFW, I basically decided to do everything by the book. I did all the workouts, 3x a week, and I added in a day of cardio here and there, and continued with my regular yoga practice. I tuned my diet up big time, basically eliminating refined carbs and limiting my carbs throughout the day to about 100-130 (net). I was eating at a ratio of about 35-40/30/35-40 (Pro/Carbs/Fat).
The results? It goes without saying that I noticed considerable strength increases. To show a few of my more notable increases:
- Squats – 95 lbs –> 110 lbs
- Seated Row – 55 lbs –> 70 lbs
- Step ups – 17.5 lbs (each hand) –> 27.5 lbs (each hand)
- Deadlifts – 50 lbs –> 100 lbs
- Shoulder Press – 15 lbs –> 22.5 lbs
- Lat Pulldown – 50 lbs –>70 lbs
- Lunges – 20 lbs –>27.5 lbs (each hand)
In terms of my body, that is a little more difficult to assess. I certainly FEEL stronger. I certainly LOOK stronger. I can see a lot more muscle and definition than I ever have before. In terms of weight I couldn’t tell you what happened as I don’t keep track of my weight (personal decision, based on the fact that I am not pursuing weight-related goals). What I can say, however, is that during the first month, the boy said to me several times that I looked like I was losing weight. I would have to agree. My clothes felt looser and my body felt tighter.
However, after about 6 weeks, things seemed to stabilize and I went back to feeling ‘just’ normal. I was feeling frustrated that I was sticking to the “plan” but not seeing any increased results (I suppose they would call that a plateau?). In addition, I was starting to feel tired of tracking, and was really starting to experience food cravings (namely carbs, which I had greatly restricted compared to my regular way of eating), but also odd things (that I really don’t ever crave) like beer and wine. Basically, it felt like my body was saying: NO MORE! ME WANT PLEASURE FOOD! (said in the voice of the Cookie Monster – Oh wait… Sesame Street reference #FAIL)
So, by the time I got sick I was feeling really blasé about my diet and basically just ate what my body was craving. That period of sickness was really interesting for me, because it made me realize a few things. (As did subsequent email conversations with Joob – thanks girl: ):::
Namely, that my number one priority is my personal happiness.
So then, what makes me happy? In no particular order (also, this is *obviously* not an exhaustive list, just things related to fitness/health goals) :
- Being active.
- Feeling comfortable in my skin/feeling that I look good.
- Spending time with friends and family.
- Eating good food. ….OK, I have to admit it. I am a foodie. I love cooking, I love eating, I love looking at food.
- Enjoying drinks (like local winter ale and a nice pinot noir) and fancy desserts (like almond-pear tarts and fair trade brownies) on occasion.
- Living my life in a way that does not revolve around food/exercise.
Basically, I realized that a few things I was doing were not in sync with the things on this list.
I’ve come to recognize that I love exercise, and yeah, I really love lifting. That doesn’t mean that I love it every day, but 90% of the time I really enjoy the time I spent at the gym. I definitely want to continue with my lifting.
I’ve come to realize that a strict eating plan is not for me… at least not right now. I’m at a healthy weight for my height (about 123 lbs at 5’5.25″ – yes, that last quarter inch counts!) so weight loss is not a concern. While I generally do eat quite healthily (my diet is primarily made up of whole foods), I do enjoy home-baked bread, lemon-flavoured mediterranean-style yogurt, real pasta, and not eating a cup of egg whites every day.
That realization came hand-in-hand with the realization (or rather, acknowledgment) that it is difficult to “bulk” (build muscle) and “cut” at the same time. I was initially interested in really “leaning out” for the summer and finally having a taut stomach, but what I now know is that most people don’t consistently stay “lean”, rather they do it in preparation for a show or event over a very controlled number of weeks (see again: Joob).
Based on those two realizations (and also remembering the fact that I am not training to compete, or any reason to lean out aside from my own vanity, actually), I decided that I will not be trying to lean out, at least not at this moment. I think the previous points pretty much explain that.
So, that all being said, here are my actual GOALS:
- Live in a way that is balanced: happy and healthy.
- Eat healthy foods that support my fitness activities without feeling deprived.
- Continue my regular workouts with NROLFW. Consistently increase strength.
Specific Goals – some are more far off than others:
- Squat my body weight by the end of NROL.
- Deadlift my body weight by the end of NROL.
- Do 40 pushups without any breaks by the end of NROL.
- Get bikini-ready (not sure what this will entail, basically just tuning up my diet and probably upping my exercise) in preparation for EUROPE in June.
Eur -what? HELL YEAH, I’m going to Europe 🙂
I’m being flown to Sweden by the European Union to participate in their Regional Development Conference and a guided tour of the Swedish countryside for a week (completely paid for….my jaw dropped). Then, I head down south to present my MA research (old news, now!) at a conference in Madrid. Following that, I plan to do a bit of sightseeing around Spain (Barcelona, etc.) and then plan to explore the south of France a little on my own (Marseilles, Monaco, wine country, etc.).
And so there you have it. A post about goals that is long (sorry about that), deep (had to give you the background), and honest (maybe you didn’t need the detail about the boy wanting to “kick” my vagina, but it was too funny not to share with you all). Now I’m going to go home to eat some grass-fed steaks (from my auntie who has a small hobby farm), roasted taters, and healthified caesar salad. Oh, and I may throw a nice glass of wine in there, too 😉
PS. Zoe wrote an amazing post on “being healthy”/defining “healthy” this week. I highly suggest you check it out.