Category Archives: Workout

Power-loving

All the sweating and straining, all the anxiety and fears, everything brought me to this past weekend. I had a fantastic meet this past Saturday and Heath had an equally fantastic meet on Sunday. I am quite proud of our performance.

The night before, on Friday, Heath gave me his Valentine’s Day gifts. A dozen roses, a Steam giftcard, a box of peanut butter chocolate poptarts and (name brand) Pedialyte. Now I know the last two seem strange for Valentine’s Day gifts, but basically they were two gifts with my meet in mind. I weighed in, making my weight class. I then needed to carb up a bit, hence the poptarts, and replenish my electrolytes, hence the Pedialyte.

We arrive at the meet on Valentine’s Day after rules are done, and during the curls. After some anxieties about a missing singlet and forgetting the rest of my Pedialyte, I get on the platform and do my opener for squat. I went three-for-three attempts on squat, and my final squat was 264.55 pounds. Heath said it looked beautiful, and that I didn’t seem to have any major form breakdown, which is very impressive considering its a PR for me! My strategy of practicing squat with a pause at the beginning and end has worked wonders, as I have a terrible habit of missing commands.

Next was bench, and after the flights of bench I get my opener with ease, and my second attempt of 137.79. I go for a third at 143, and miss it. It was right where my triceps fail every single time. Marcin, on my team, told me how to “break the bar” with my grip so I can power through that sticking point. I am still very satisfied with a 137.79 bench because it is a meet PR, versus a gym PR.

Lastly, was deadlift. There’s always a ridiculously long break between bench and deadlift because mostly everyone wants to bench. I chugged a lot of preworkout for the deadlift flight. I opened at 10 pounds heavier than my October meet’s deadlift which was 230 something, and my opener was in the bag. I got 270 for a second, which was a PR for my meet performance.

Upon urging (one lady lifter told me “go and put some weight on that bar–that was too light!), everyone told me to lift 314.16and I got it. This is a 64 lb improvement from last year! Deadlift performance anxiety has killed my past meets, and I just obliterated my deadlift in this past meet. I’ve never gone near the end of a deadlift flight before. I just channeled every strong bad-ass fictional woman character I could think of (Mulan, Legion Commander and Phantom Assassin from DOTA, Alanna from the Lionness Quartet, and my own Dungeons and Dragons characters) and PULLED THAT WEIGHT.

“BE A MAN!”

Overall, I added 100 pounds to my total since last year yielding me an 8/9 performance and 716.50 raw total. I outsquatted myself from October by 10 pounds, and I was using knee wraps at the time. I missed no commands this time, and only missed my bench because it was heavy.

In my mind, there was not a single thing that could improve my overall performance, besides the bench miss. I’m not even bitter about the bench because I still got that deadlift.

I got a small trophy, and was able to act as Heath’s coach on Saturday. He went 9/9 and got a trophy too! Our school’s team also won first place for mixed powerlifting teams.

There’s going to be a meet in my town in April that I’m probably going to skip lifting at. I’d like to get trained as a referee by that point so that I could help and participate out since it’ll be only a mile from my house. I’m looking at a lifting at a Texas meet in June or July that’s the Women’s Nationals for my federation. Heath said that he’s probably going to do a different event for our October meet–I think he said power press (power clean and bench press). I might do powersports sometime (strict curl, bench, and deadlift), or maybe join him on power press.

Regardless of records, trophies, events, and logistics, I killed it. I’ve not been this proud of myself in a long time. Here’s to getting stronger!

Thanks for reading.

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12 Inspirational Quotes to Share–Part One

It’s Friday! Do you know what Friday is? If you answered, “my day off,” you’re right! (And creeping me out because you know too much about me… just kidding!)

I’ve taken this entire week off lifting for the most part. I did some super light lifting on Tuesday, mentally giving myself commands for each lift. I also have done yoga EVERY DAY this week (except for yesterday because I volunteered from 2-9, drove home, and promptly forgot). Despite missing yesterday, I am so proud of myself. Just a week of practice and my sitting wide angle forward bend is already way easier. Before, I could only get my legs in, no joke, the angle your fingers make when you do a peace sign with your first and third fingers. Now I can almost get it to where it needs to be when you do one! Of course, I can’t lay entirely flat (or even close to flat like Rodney Yee) but I’m sure I’ll get it eventually.

Yesterday, I helped run the Junior USA Weightlifting Nationals, which is Olympic weightlifting not powerlifting. For a lot of the day, I helped one of the meet co-sponsors, then did weigh-ins, and ran the table with lifter cards and laptop for an entire high school meet.  Weigh-ins are simple enough, but man was keeping track of weights a bit tricky, because they do sequential loading, not flights.

my face the entire meet.

But as I am writing this in between playing games of DOTA2, I want to leave you with the first part of twelve quotes to inspire you. These are hopefully what I keep in mind for my meet tomorrow, and for the rest of my non-lifting adventures. Stick around for part two tomorrow!

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Filed under Adventures, Goals, Health, Mental Health, Workout, yoga

A Year Ago…

Doesn’t everyone?

Trying not to beat myself too hard on this one, but I learned first hand recently what sticking to a habit does to you. An old coworker/friend of mine had her yogi-anniversary this past week. She posted on Instagram some really inspiring photos about her mobility. She started as a complete beginner, in fact I was the one who helped encourage her to take up this habit, and I’m quite proud of her progress!

But of course, in terms of the “you can’t have nice things” point-of-view, I am beating myself up for not sticking with a practice so consistently. I am aware this is not a positive mindset. But I can’t let this wake-up-call go to waste. I just need to figure out how to positively apply this energy into not self-loathing, but self-loving behavior.

I started this 31 day journal challenge from the Art of Manliness and yesterday was the third day. Day three reads:

Decide on one positive habit you’d like to implement in your life. Whether seemingly mundane (like flossing) or perhaps life-altering (exercising every day), think of something you’d like to add to your life that will be beneficial. Then, think about the steps you’ll take to get there, and how you’ll keep yourself accountable.

Well, this seems like a no-brainer.

This coming week is my meet-prep week. I’m going to be lifting light, doing a lot of walking, and mobility work. I can’t think of a better time to try a daily yoga practice since I won’t be tired from lifting. I just downloaded the HabitBull app to keep me on track. I am aware that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. But maybe a week of daily practice will show me the benefits of doing some every day, thus encouraging me to do more. I just did a great standing poses routine for 25 minutes. I’ll report back on what else happens!

I want to be able to do this.

In other news, I finally joined the three-plate club. Deadlifted 315 this past week. Wow. WOW. I can’t believe it still. There was a slight hiccup when I staggered forward–wouldn’t have cleared the judges, but I still got it on raw strength. I tested bench earlier in the week and I got an unpaused 145. That’s pretty much what I expected there. Squat today–aiming for an unwrapped 275. Let’s see how that goes!

(Also, it goes without saying, I’m watching a LOT of Sailor Moon.)

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Five Reasons to Blog Today

I hate feeling like I have to catch up on here. I hate feeling like blogging is work. My brain is running on two cylinders right now due to sleep deprivation.

So, in order to keep this short and sweet, here is my top five interesting things as of late (giving me a reason to blog today):

5) I’m satisfied with my lifts and how training is going. Monday yielded 220×5 squat and a lot of accessories. Wednesday yielded 135×3 bench. I miss my benches at the Weight Room. Lovely to go in when there’s no one there.

4) I get to help plan a social justice conference! Last year, there were topics about misogynist memes, body image, racial diversity, and LBGTQ advocacy. We’re currently deciding on keynote speakers. I can’t wait to help out more.

3) I submit my Proud2BeMe piece today. I also ordered NEDA Week Awareness posters to hang at work and on campus. It’ll be great when they come in.

2)

image

I had to evaluate my yoga strat. My current strategy wasn’t working (putting it off till Saturday at 11). This time, I got it in early. I did an hour long yoga video with my roommate. Then, the next day, I did a Rodney Yee iyengar video. So I missed a week last week, being honest, but I think finding a new strategy for carrying out my goals is more important.

1) I visited friends last weekend in Tulsa. I love my friends and I had a blast. When I’m dying less, I’m going to totally write a Tulsa entry. Tulsa is hip. Tulsa turns their old Barnes and Nobles into fancy-ass grocery stores. Tulsa has arcade cabinet bars. Tulsa has Food Network famous pizza. More to come on that.

Bonus: I love Aldi. The whole system (have to put a deposit down to get a grocery cart, you bag your own groceries, bags cost money, super cheap) is favbuklrhhs  fabulous….sleep deprivation and auto correct do not mix, folks.

I’ll be writing again when I am more alive.

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Filed under Adventures, Friends, Goals, Health, Project Enrichment, Workout, Writing, yoga

Silver Linings

I would be lying to say this week has not been a challenge. Monday was the worst–my roommate’s case of the flu was confirmed (poor thing) and I’ve been  staying at a friend’s house, one of my podcast co-hosts, D1. This was so I could sleep (our townhome’s walls are quite thin) and so I would not be infected.

My anxiety about getting the flu got so dastardly, I went to our health clinic to get a flu test done. I don’t have the flu. Yay! But, in my hasty celebration, I shove my wallet in my pocket. A couple hours later, when I cannot find it, I realize it’s gone–as in lost permanently.

No, this is not as bad as one of my favorite podcaster’s stories where he loses his bag which contains his passport, iPad, laptop, 3DS, and all his possessions in a crowded Tokyo train station at rush hour. No, it’s definitely not as as bad as that. And while that does make me feel better, it’s still problematic. I cancel all my cards, and realize that pretty much everything in there is replaceable, and keep going with my week.

The first silver lining to this whole debacle is that I start talking to D1’s new girl friend, R, on the phone while I was over at his house, and mildy tipsy on Tequila. She’s one of the sweetest, smartest people I’ve met in a long time. D1 is gaga, and who can blame him, honestly? Do you remember the last time you talked on the phone with a gal pal of yours for an hour and felt totally comfortable? I don’t. That may be because that’s never happened to me before, ever. I hope we can meet in person soon.

Another silver lining, unrelated to the flu and wallet thing, is that I pulled a 245 5×5 deadlift, followed by 275 for a triple. 275 is a PR, and considering I got it for three feels almost surreal. I was so focused on getting that weight, that I didn’t notice until I got home that it was my first time getting that, ever. But, I got it for three. Incredible. Couple of my PL guys put some great tweaks in my form and approach, and I think at this point, this lift is going to skyrocket.

Needless to say I’m sore. And I’m tired. Had an interesting talk last night with H. We really discussed some valuable things, and I think our relationship is only going to improve. While that cloud darkened the horizon of my mind for a while, the fact that we are enjoying the sun right now speaks to the potential longevity of our relationship. We’re going to start up our little tiny Book Club again, and I’ve picked the selection. My Risk, Policy, and Law class assigned the first two chapters of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk, which sounds extremely dry, but I LOVED it.

Probably the best silver lining of all this week was that my faith in humanity was restored. Someone turned my wallet into the police station, and I got EVERYTHING back yesterday. It was in front of a building I never walk in front of. The world will never know on that one.

Last, but not least, here’s some great reading that’s been keeping me going this week:

“Why Don’t I Look Like Her? A Guide to Stop Comparing” I’m pretty bad about this, but I’m beginning to love my body for how I’ve improved and look. This was a pretty helpful read. I might have goals for my physique, but I’m starting to learn to love the process.

“Taking Care of Yourself When You Feel Like Shutting Down” This got me through Monday. Self care is paramount, and no amount of self flagellation will return a wallet to you.

“Get Your Hair Wet Activity” I love this idea! I really want to do it. It’s kind of like a love letter to yourself almost. Here’s from the site:

“A creative way to catalog all the upcoming adventures you’ll have is to keep them safe and tidy in a decorated mason jar. Each time you get out of your comfort zone or try something new, write it down on a strip of paper place it inside your jar. You can even color-code your memories — red for a time you spoke up, blue for a time you faced your fears, purple for learning a new skill — you get the idea! At the end of the year you can empty out the memories and bask it all the ways you got your hair wet and feel proud to be you.

I love that proud to be me part. I am learning how to be, slowly.

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Filed under Adventures, Books, bro, Friends, H, Health, Likes, School, Workout

Hello New Friends, New Lifelines (Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Part Three)

May trigger–be careful, friends. 

I must say, I was surprised to see so many new people interact with my blog after that last post! I am truly honored you want to read this outlet from me. Welcome, then, to the new faces and welcome back to those who were already following.

…I hope this entry doesn’t scare you off.

I need to talk about my eating disorder recovery. It’s a heavy topic, but I need to address it since half of my blog’s title is inspired by my recovery story. I’m putting the rest of this under a cut because I don’t want anyone to read this who may be hurt by it.

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Right Here, Right Now

I’ve found that a certain calmness has crept into my spirit as of late. The act of actively doing nothing is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Assimilating your expectations to a fixed point. That fixed point is the target of that activity that receives all of your attention. Then, once complete, move on to the next task.

I’ve obviously had quite a meditative Wednesday.

Besides having good lifts the past couple of days (deload was the week prior, so we’re finally making upward progress again), I’m starting to reach a more consistent contentment with myself. It is a feeling of quietness amidst noise that I’ve never experienced before.

H and I aren’t doing the same program for the first time in our co-lifting history. I’m enjoying the sensation as well as what it symbolizes: that I am growing into my own as a female lifter. I am beginning to feel comfortable enough to mention to people in real life that I lift weights and it is an empowering feeling.

Can it be that the dust is finally settling? Starting from the beginning of college, it seems like I got hit with by the garbage truck called “change.” From moving out to my parent’s divorce, as well as my own eating disorder, things have been tumoiltous. But now, it isn’t like that. States of flux happen but they have patterns of order.

I read somewhere that randomness is merely a human concept. There is a pattern to everything if you just look…

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And the whey tastes like sand…

Okay, okay, my personal whey doesn’t taste completely like sand…just mildly banana flavored sand. H’s, however, does taste like what would happen if you put milk and topsoil in a blender bottle and called it “chocolate flavor.”

We decided to be adventurous this time around, ordering from a really good site that does custom protein blends. The blend we picked out was only ~$25 for five pounds, which is pretty much unheard of. It’s this blend called “Invigorate” that was only fiveish dollars per pound. It is a mix of pea protein, casein, and egg whites.

H’s mom tries to get us to buy Shaklee, which is nearly impossible on a college student budget due to the price. However, we’ve make this unconscious competition with her that we can get a company with just as good ethics as Shaklee does but not the aforementioned company. It would be neat if True Nutrtition could help us win that bet.

Shaklee’s big selling point is that it is “all natural.”  H says the Invigorate must be good for us otherwise it wouldn’t taste so awful, to which I can agree. It would be neat if we could get some free Shaklee out of this deal…

We will see what it does to our gains. I’ll keep you posted.

(Link here if interested in the Invigorate)

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Let’s see if you can squat your way out of this one (part 2): Sunday

The reason why this series of posts are entitled “Let’s see if you can squat your way out of this one” is because on Sunday the greatest thing happened.

I got my mom to let me show her how to lift.

We went to her local community center and into the weight room, which was well stocked for how shabby it looked on the outside. I got some recommendations from H on what to show her and, of course, he responded with the typical ex-/fit”Do ss faggot”, which is a prominent meme on the ‘chan.

However, more true advice was never said. Keep in mind, I’m not a personal trainer by any means. I’ve really only started lifting again, this time seriously, since January and off-and-on for about a year. H was right though whenever he said helping someone else with their lifts helps your own form.

My mom has great form and understands the principles of breathing already (which was and is half the battle with me). Some things I would say to her she would respond to with “Oh, well, I figured that out.” She really is a natural with this.

My mom keeps on wanting to lose that stubborn extra five pounds that she’s gained since dating C and I don’t think she understands that just being a cardiobunny is going to make her drop that weight.

Maybe if she just lifted heavy once a week? Once a week, with weights going up. My thing is, as I was saying to H last night, lifting seriously doesn’t seem like something you can be too casual with. Or maybe you can, but I just haven’t discovered how yet.

But, just for form purposes, this is what I had mom do (all with bar weight):

3×5 squats

3×5 ohp

1×5 dead lift

3×5 bench

1×5 row

Anyone have any suggestions for motivating her to trying it more consistently? H said mentioning weight would and should be motivation enough but it really never is. I know my own mother. She’s a hard worker but it takes her getting her to want it first.

So besides doing demo lifts on this day, I still needed to catch up on my vanity day (abs…always abs) which consisted of 5×20 crunch and leg extensions. Mum and I then went to play basketball for awhile. After that, we traveled to Whole Foods and got brunch, went to Barnes and Noble, then she took me back to my town.

We also “Sherlock”ed that night, which was wonderful. H really liked it and I cannot wait for next week’s episode.

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Work Bingo

eat moar…shoot, on the tip of my tongue… errr…

I work at the most glorious of fast food eateries–Chic-fil-A. While not as mentally dehabilitating as other fast food restaurants, it still is rather soul crushing.

I hate suggestive selling. I hate suggestive selling food I know is bad for people because it is “not an option” (direct quote from manager).

I hate suggestive selling to children, especially if I am asking to “upsize their combo.” I try to avoid it as much as I can, but sometimes it slips out before I can stop myself.

“Would you like to upsize your fries for just 20 cents extra?”

“Would you like to try one of our new hot chocolate chip cookies for a little over a dollar?”


H and I have discussed that they should make a Starbucks bingo card to make the shifts less monotonous. I think I’m going to do the same for Chic-fil-A. Criteria for work-bingo is that you have to include things that happen frequently, but not overkill. The free-space would be something that happens every day (probably “Customer buys an original Chic-fil-A sandwich”).

Bingo card spaces so far:

  • Customer reacts to a request to upsize with something along the lines of “sure, why not?!”
  • Customer orders either grilled nuggets or fruit for their child’s kids meal and a full calorie soda for the drink
  • Customer orders a chicken filet instead of a “real” menu item.
  • Customer orders a combo meal, then asks for a water cup, not a bottled water.
  • Customer asks to hear all the dipping sauces read to them even though it is printed on the menu.
  • Customer asks for a discontinued item or asks if we still have ____ (such as Chicken Tortilla Soup or Sweet Potato Fries).
  • Customer asks if an original Chic-fil-A sandwich is available in a kid’s meal option.
  • Customer asks for no whipped cream on their shake but still wants the cherry (which looks really stupid).
  • D asks me to clean under the sink because I’m apparently the only one who ever does that.
  • Customer stacks 2+ coupons to get a super discounted meal.
  • An OC student tries to pay with meal plan points, even though the semester is over.
  • Customer’s order is so expensive that I have to ask them to sign a credit card receipt.
  • R comes in and orders for his wife.
  • J comes in and orders a water cup, Chick-fil-A sandwich substituted with a coleslaw and a small diet coke.
  • Old people ask for the senior drink discount.
  • I have to ask for change because someone paid with something that I cannot give change back with five dollar bills.
  • We are late making food for a catering order (honestly, this should be the free space).
  • There is a stack of trays as high as the front counter cabinets.
  • Someone in workout clothes orders a Poweraide (like it’s part of the uniform).

Those are essentially the ones I’d include. I need to make a table of this before I go to work, stat.

Oh, and in regards to squat day, it was delicious. H keeps on trying to get me to squat the low-bar form, but it hurts my shoulders too much for me to do it comfortably without dropping it. He has a much larger back than I do so anything over 100 lbs (which is a little less than half my squat on our 3 week of 5/3/1) I can’t handle. Which is unfortunate, because it seems like my squats are easier to line up with that form.

I think I’m also ODing on cottage cheese. It seems like every time I eat it now it murders my stomach. I’m tired of having to take Tums after every time I eat. I probably need to get more greens in my diet in general.

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