The Goals Post (long & deep)

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)

Cookie_Monster.jpg

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:

General 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.).

Europe abroad

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.

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17 thoughts on “The Goals Post (long & deep)

  1. I am going to email you tomorrow morning (I am retardedly sleep deprived atm) with a response because I don’t want to post it publicly… but the short of it, I think you are being oh-so-wise and, if it counts for anything, I highly approve of your goals.

    Also, I once pseudo-dated a guy who told me he, he was going to punch me in the vagina the first time we went out drinking. He turned out to be a jerk but that is not relevant.

    PS Can you take me to sweden with you? KTHNXBYE

    • Awww, thanks Juliet! It means a lot to hear you say that! I really appreciated your emails – they gave me a lot to think about.

      UM, I am always open to travel buddies, so you should just come to Sweden. Its not even that expensive to fly there. And we could sneak you into my paid hotel room.

  2. LOL what’s even more funny/naughty is I know what he meant by “kick” in T9!! 😉 What’s probably worse is I sent a text to my bf one time that said, “I’m going to lick her butt” when I meant kick. Yeah, that got some weird looks!

    Anyhow, I think your goals are awesome! And I have no doubt you will achieve them!

  3. GREAT GOALS! I have been feeling like i have hit a plateau lately, but I think it’s just my mind telling me that. I can definitely see some great muscle gains, but my midsection is getting kinda bloated and fluffy in some areas. I think the added HIIT will help. And, I need to figure out what kind of food intolerance or digestive issue I have. I am currently on an antibiotic for possible bacterial infection in my intestines. Hopefully after I am off of this things will go back to normal. But, if there’s still lots of bloat, I will have to have some tests. I just really want to figure out what is wrong because the bloated stomach doesn’t help my progress.

    I think your new approach to diet is much better. We need those carbs! I sometimes think that I should reduce my carbs, but then I remember how much energy I have with them and without them I wouldn’t increase in strength as much. Also, I would be getting WAYYY too much protein if I reduced them. I bet you will feel a lot better after changing your diet. Less irritable, anxious, and crave-crazy for sure. 🙂

    And you lucky duck! EUROPE!!! Can I hop into your suitcase? =D

    • Digestive issues, interesting. I have also had my fair share of those buggers, awful 😦 Honestly, for me the thing that made the biggest difference (like, i went from feeling awful to feeling great) was going off birth control! I went to visit a naturopath about my issues and she suggested it and within 3 days I was feeling better. Of course, after I went off the pill I still had some hormones in my body, and i was still getting the occasional upset tummy for about 3 months until my period came back on its own. But after it did, I never had the issues again. I know BC is easy and nice cuz it regulates you, but if you have alternative options, you might want to consider it? Just a thought 🙂

      Thanks so much for your comments on my goals, etc.! It means a lot. I think you’re totally right that I need those carbs in there! I am really curious to see, as well, what my strength gains will be like eating slightly less protein then i did before (as there is no way I’m getting in quite as much now without supplementing via egg whites, etc.). So far I haven’t noticed a difference, but it may be too early to tell. One thing I am NOT changing is having my post workout shake. They say that’s the critical bit!

      Eeeeh yes, I am excited about Europe! All friends who want to join are welcome 😉

  4. I whole-heartedly adore this post. Not only the message, but because of how you wrote it. I feel like I’m getting to know you even more 🙂

    Your goals are focused and void of fluff. You’ve made such progress with your lifting too and you should be very proud!

    I also love how you focus on your life too. Its great to not lose sight of your long term goals and ambitions! Traveling is definitely very high on my list too!

    • Awe, thanks Christina! I really, really appreciate it. I don’t know if I would have gotten started on this whole journey if it hadn’t been for your reassuring email! 🙂

  5. I love your goals — both the specific lifting goals and the general approach to fitness goals.

    I love the dinner story, though, even more. I read this post while at school, with children in the same room as me, and I had to stop myself from laughing out loud so as to avoid having to explain what I thought was so funny 🙂

  6. Those are excellent goals! I am horrible at strict-eating so right now that I’m bulking, I feel like I am so much happier! When it comes time to cut, I’m going to miss eating all the delicious food I’m eating now

  7. Those are some pretty impressive weights you’re pumping!
    I’m jealous of your 40 push-ups goal….it’s been a while since I’ve done push-ups. Actually, I’m not jealous, I’m motivated. I want to go for that too!

    I like that your goals are so specific. Mine are always all over the map. I want to squat 225lb and run a marathon and do a handstand in yoga and, and, and… I can never just pick one thing and stick to it!

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