A Dainty Diary of Lifting

General Update on Life and Lifting


I posted my Coan/Phillippi deadlift max without commentary earlier this week. I figured there’d be enough commentary from the peanut gallery of internet coaches. I was mostly correct.

What I didn’t include was the video of myself failing to lockout 380×1 a few minutes later.

I can’t say I was too heartbroken to miss this lift. I’d already pulled 370, which I’d set as my somewhat unrealistic goal ten weeks ago. What I didn’t know at the time though, is this was merely the first among many of my failures this week.

I haven’t been back to the gym since that last deadlifting session. I’ve been finding it pretty hard to get out of bed in the mornings, and my squat is one of the few things that get me moving. But I also know that I’ve been using my gym time as an excuse to deal with some of the less palatable aspects of my life, including my schoolwork, looming unemployment and potential homelessness. So I decided to take a few days off to address those issues.

What have I actually been doing in the meantime? Well, so far I’ve managed to make a small dent in a mountain of homework, and hopefully this weekend I can tidy up my apartment, polish off my resume and generally get my life in order. But I’ve also done a lot of Liz Lemon-style stress eating. And that my friends, is how I arrived to be standing on my scale this morning, seeing a number greater than 72 kg.


I said I was working on moving down a weight class. Currently, I couldn’t even compete in what I consider to be my weight class. I’ve been working my ass off to try and lose weight since Christmas and I managed to undo it all in a week. For a period of about three days, I had allowed myself to believe that maybe I’d finally nipped my junk food benders in the butt. Nope. I’m delusional. And I suck.

I’ve been trying not to freak out. I’m in the process of trying to sign up for a meet this summer. I know that if I sign up to compete at 63kg, that’ll keep me on track. So a burrito and a burger and ice cream and cinnamon buns are just my last hurrah, if you will. And realistically, a part of me knows that once I take a couple of solid dumps, I will be a few pounds lighter.

If that dump ever comes.

Which brings me to another point of contention in my life: I need to get my shit in order. Figuratively, but also literally. Something is wrong with my gut. Now much to my chagrin, this blog is not The Poop Report. But something’s amiss in my intestines, as evidenced by the fact that pooping has become a weekly event in my life. I’ve increased the fat in my diet. I’ve increased the fiber. I’ve knocked back pickle juice and tried to make dolomite in my stomach. It’s all to no avail: by Thursday I usually feel so bloated and gross that I spend much of the day distracted, uncomfortable and poking my stomach in the hopes of moving things along.

So where does that leave me, exactly? Well, I have reason to suspect that I am lactose intolerant and since nothing else has fixed me, that might be a contributing factor. A couple of my immediate family members are lactose intolerant  and I haven’t drank milk in over a decade because it makes me physically ill. Also, it tastes disgusting. But cheese and yogurt and milk chocolate are a different story. They are delicious. They could also be part of the reason that I’m chronically backed up.

Basically, I’m going to do the next logical thing, which is not in fact “Go see a doctor”, as you may be thinking. No, I’m going Paleo.

Lest my readers abandon me, let me state in no uncertain terms that I’m not about to run off and join Crossfit. And I haven’t started believing all that caveman evolutionary mumbo jumbo, either. Cavemen would have eaten pizza if it were available. But I need to try cutting out dairy before I’m willing to go see my doctor, and while I’m on it, I might as well cut out grains. I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life calorie-counting, so having some general guidelines that limit the amount of carbs that I eat seems like a sensible idea. And honestly, I don’t eat a whole lot of grains and legumes to begin with. I’ve been trying to phase myself into Paleo for a couple of weeks and while giving up grains was painless, the thought of giving up Greek yogurt basically gave me an anxiety attack. Repeatedly.

Now, like all of the changes I’ve made to improve my health over the past couple of years, I know that I can succeed if I treat this endeavor much like one of my science experiments; I need a specific result that I’m trying to achieve, a set time to run the experiment, and I can’t sabotage myself over that time or else the results are invalid. So to help myself out, I’m going to play a little game that I’m stealing from a local Crossfit box (which I will not be joining any time soon, I swear).

Beginning on March 3rd, I’ll be giving myself a daily score out of 10 for each of the following things:

  1. Eat real Food.
  2. No dairy.
  3. No grains.
  4. No legumes
  5. No sugar.
  6. No processed foods.
  7. No alcohol.
  8. 1.5 grams of fish oil.
  9. 8 hours of sleep
  10. Following my workout schedule, including accessory work:

March schedule

If I eat something like non-dairy creamer or yogurt, I lose a point. But that won’t happen because I need to win at everything I do, including games I play against myself. I will report back with my overall results on April 3rd, but I’ll also get back to tracking my weight tomorrow and hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be feeling less like a complete and utter failure.

And yes, I realize that points 1 and 6 are kind of redundant. Whatever. I’m not scoring myself out of 9 every day because that’s not the kind of game I want to play. And who am I kidding? It’s Paleo, where the rules are arbitrary and the points don’t matter!


12 thoughts on “General Update on Life and Lifting

  1. Love the daily checklist idea. Might have to give it a try 🙂

  2. If it makes you feel better… I just ate a giant fucking brownie sundae…. it was total bullshit.

    Cheating aside, I will say with confidence though, that going paleo will probably help you poop! Almost undoubtedly. My poops are like clockwork (though, now with this ice cream sundae… maybe not tomorrow). For the most part, I like eating paleo, though I will say… watch your lifts. If they are suffering, eat more calories. You often need to eat more than you think you do when you are paleo. It is very easy to accidentally eat very few calories – especially in the beginning.

    Good luck with this crazy game you’ve set up!!

    P.S. Have you considered just staying in the weight class you are in? You look great and you are so strong.

    • You mentioned earlier this week that you were having a couple of cheats and that totally made me feel better, FYI.

      I stopped my calorie cycle so that I could just eat more every day. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t want my lifts to suffer and I’ve been good at listening to my body about that in the past.

      And yes, I’ve considered staying in 72. But 70kg is the cut off to get your wilks multiplier over 1, so I need to at least stay under that and I’m not happy with the way my stomach looks, so I feel like I should keep going. I’m short enough that it’s a reasonable goal, and now that I’ve told everyone it’s my goal, I feel like not doing it is a cop out. And I feel like my numbers would be a lot more impressive if i could maintain them down to 63kg….

      A brownie sundae does sound delicious, though.

  3. I think perfectionism is good, until it goes very badly and a person sees herself only as a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’. Figure out your poops, woman. First and foremost, get the poop chute working. You can beat yourself up later about your food choices and your weight and your WILKS and all that once you figure out how to poop.

    Seriously, on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, poop comes before self-actualization. Give yourself a break; this is not ‘victory’ or ‘doom’–there’s something in between these polars.

    Also, if this is a double comment, please forgive me. I appear to have multiple usernames for WP, and I think WP is a bit of an asshole.

  4. Poops are good on paleo eating. Unfortunately, they tend to show up in the middle of your warm-up for some reason, but I guess that’s better than showing up mid-DL PR attempt. That is all I have to say.

    • Ha. Well, I am not sure that leaves me any worse off. Part of the problem with having a designated poop day every week is that squatting when you could unleash that entire week’s worth of backup is terrifying.


        BTW: I think once you get past your self-challenge, you could re-introduce Greek yogurt and see what happens. Since it’s strained, most of the lactose is removed.

  5. 1. Awesome DL (the 370).

    2. I probably missed this from entries ago, but how’d you decide to put DLs on Tuesday? I’m also doing TM for squat and trying to figure out where to put DLs. Do you not feel…tired…the day after volume squats?

    • I actually don’t think I addressed that issue, but here was my logic:

      Volume day leaves me tired but my Intensity Day tends to take more out of me and requires a longer recovery time. This was especially true once the weights got heavier.

      TM works in part because you give yourself enough time to recover between VD and ID. If you put your deadlift on Wednesday or Thursday, you will not be recovered when Friday rolls around.

      On that note, deadlifting ultimately leaves me more tired than squatting does in absolute terms, so it makes sense for it to go after my volume day and not before. That leaves Tuesday.

      I think that this was actually the reason that a couple of people told me when I started this plan that I was going to end up injured (the other main reason being that conventional wisdom says you can only really intensely train one lift at a time). One thing to consider is that since I am a chick, my numbers will never be absolutely as big as guys running the same programs, and it’s a lot easier for anyone to recover from a 370lb deadlift than it is to recover from a 500lb deadlift.

      And finally, I have to say that at least from a personal standpoint, recovery is very much a mental game. There were a couple of days on C/P where I went in thinking “I’m not going to get this” and then when someone told me to just suck it up, I was fine. (But please don’t take that advice to injure yourself.)

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve been putting DLs on Wed and (only a couple weeks in, though) so if I start having problems on Friday, it sounds like I should try moving them to Tuesday. I don’t think I’m pushing DLs as hard as you, though, since I’m trying to prioritize squatting.

  6. Pingback: March 4th: Training Log | Powerlifting in Heels

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