A Dainty Diary of Lifting


May 30: HIIT

I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the gym tonight. I wasn’t planning on lifting, and I wasn’t really in the mood for cardio. But then I got hungry and had dessert after dinner. Then I had to force myself to take a break from laundry to go for a run, because otherwise I wouldn’t hit the deficit I was aiming for. After that dairy bender earlier in the week, I’m back to where I was before I started tracking with the BodyMedia. Trying not to feel too down about it.


Blueberry breakfast bar

Food Diary


  • Blueberry square
  • Protein shake
  • Coffee

AM Snack:

  • Orange
  • Fruit 2 go
  • Almonds
  • Coffee (made me feel a little sick)

Lunch: Leftover Asian turkey wrap

Dinner: Citrus & herb chicken with green beans

PM Snack: Blueberry square


Calories Consumed: 2134

Calories Burned: 2940


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May 29: Squats and Bench

I didn’t do a food diary, yesterday. It was a bad day. I ate cheese. Then I ate ice cream. At 3 am, when I was curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, sweating and shaking and feeling achey, I reminded myself that I’ve been avoiding dairy because I suspect I am lactose intolerant. That ice cream was so not worth it.

But the good news is that even if I fell into a vat of Ben & Jerry’s, the extra calories gave me a ton of energy for the gym today. I was overdue for a decent lifting session and I finally got it.

I started out by squatting 280 for three singles.


I am actually pretty pleased with these: the speed is good and I hit depth, which is a big deal because the last time I attempted this weight was when I was still running Texas Method and I didn’t break parallel. That said, it still felt heavy – especially the walkout. And I’m in that awkward phase between notches in my belt, so bracing my core was difficult today.

Then I did bench work, again working up to heavy singles at 125. This was undoubtedly my max for the day and I know I’ve lost some of the progress I was making with all of the volume on Sheiko. I have my fingers crossed that this rebounds quickly, but since I struggle with benching in general, I doubt that’ll happen.

Part of the reason I’m feeling good about this workout is because I actually stuck around and got some accessory work done. I did 225x4x6 on squat, because I know I need to do more than just work up to heavy singles. Then I did 5×10 “low rows” supersetted with leg curls.

Now I just need to figure out how to have that kind of workout more consistently and without stuffing my face beforehand.

Chinese 5-spice lettuce turkey wraps

Food Diary


  • Daryl’s bar
  • Protein shake
  • Large banana
  • Coffee

AM Snack: Green apple

Lunch: Citrus & Herb roasted chicken, Green Beans, Applesauce

PM Snack: Almonds

Dinner: Chinese 5-spice lettuce turkey wraps


Calories consumed: 1886

Calories burned: 2700



May 27th: Day off

I signed up for roller derby. That’s a hobby. And it doesn’t revolve around food. And I can hopefully meet some new people. I am trying to keep an open mind and not have a total meltdown.

I was a bit lax with my diet again today. And I’m going out to lunch tomorrow, so it will probably be a similar story. I am really full. But I don’t feel insanely out of control and I’ve managed to avoid the dairy and junk food, so I’m no really concerned. Once I stop pretending to be social, everything should be fine.


Paleo Blueberry Crumble


Food Diary

Breakfast: 2 blackberry squares, Protein Shake, Coffee

AM Snack: Green apple, coffee

Lunch: Italian stuffed pepper, Roasted nut Lara uber bar

PM Snack: Almonds, 1 cup of blueberries, square of Paleo fudge

Dinner: Potluck: Steak, Asparagus with Prosciutto, Blueberry Crumble

Evening Snack: Almond Dark Chocolate


Calories consumed: All of them.



May 26: Sick and squats

That race really took a toll on me. I feel beyond wiped today and can’t do anything even remotely productive.

I tried to lift today but it was a shit show. There’s video but I can’t even bring myself to upload it. It’s just a bunch of squat mornings at 270lbs. And I struggled to bench 105×5. Awful.

I made a meal plan for this week but didn’t do any actual cooking. I will be eating out a bit this week and had to do a bit of baking. I did make a quasi-meal plan but will have to sort out the cooking tomorrow or something.

I’m considering joining roller derby.

Food Diary

Breakfast: Turkey hash with fried egg, Green Apple, Coffee


  • 2 apple streusel muffins
  • Large square of dark chocolate
  • Kombucha

PM Snack: 1/2 cup blackberries, 2 squares of Paleo fudge

Dinner: Italian stuffed pepper I made Blackberry bars for dinner with friends, tomorrow. I sampled 1. Then 4. I concluded they were a bit disappointing. 

Calories Consumed: I have no idea. Somewhere around 2500. Enough to give me a tummy ache.

Calories burned: 2760

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May 25th: Ottawa Race Weekend

It’s race weekend in Ottawa and I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking, but many months ago, I signed up to run 10K.

Then I kind of half-heartedly trained for the race, but not really. And last week, I tried to sell my bib on kijiji because I didn’t really want to run it. But I got stood up and decided to just try running the damn thing. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I’d paid $40 for a t-shirt that I didn’t feel I could wear to the gym without actually crossing the finish line.


I think I am what Gary would call “turtle jacked”: short and bulky. And slow. And I’m surprised at how disappointed I am with that time. It’s on part with the only other 10K I’ve run in training, but I was disappointed at how much walking I had to do to get to the finish line. I keep trying to remind myself that the very large part of me that used to weigh +250lbs could not have finished at all, but I still feel kind of miffed.

I don’t think I’ll do the 10K again next year. For one thing, I couldn’t eat any of the post-race snacks because they were yogurt and chocolate milk. Thank you, dairy industry. But the race was also at 6:30, so I feel like I wasted most of the day lounging around in preparation.

The thing is, you know how in a bildungsroman there is often a sense of restlessness? Well, that’s me right now. I need to find myself. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life or where I want to be and I’m just oscillating between feeling restless and depressed. I’m trying to stay active, but my lifts are in the crapper and running seems to be more effectively dealing with all of my pent-up, anxious energy. This statement might be straight-up blasphemy, but I’ve actually been looking forward to running.

Even if 10K is a little long for me, I think I’m going to work on improving my 5K time. I’m considering doing the Army Run again in September, or the Run or Dye race if I can make friends who will do it with me. But that seems like a very tall order, and I take my time in doing just about everything.


Food Diary

Breakfast: Turkey hash with a fried egg, Large coffee

Lunch: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese, 1 cup of applesauce

PM Snack: 2 apple streusel egg muffins, Banana uber Larabar

Pre-Race: Protein shake, Larabar Cashew

Post Race: Salted almonds

Calories Consumed: 2205

Calories Burned: 2750

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May 24th: Food log


For anyone that’s wondering how my plan to eat more is working out: I’ve lost 3.0 lbs in the past week. I’ve generally been feeling pretty good, although I did get a serious hankering for some chocolate this afternoon. My deficit is a bit smaller today, but I’m really not worried, since I’m starting to believe I have some wiggle room in my diet. The thought of aiming for a larger deficit has crossed my mind a few times this week, but I remind myself to take a deep breath: slow and steady wins the race. Which is probably good advice for someone running 10K tomorrow…

Food Diary


  • 2 apple streusel egg muffins
  • 2 sausage patties
  • Organic applesauce
  • Large coffee

AM Snack: Green apple

Lunch: Spaghetti bolognese

PM Snack: Banana uber Larabar

Dinner: 2 Greek turkey fillets with butternut squash

Evening Snack: Large square of dark chocolate, Kombucha


Calories consumed: 2048

Calories burned: 2760

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May 23: Lifting and tree-hugging

I lifted today! Which given my mood lately, seems like a huge accomplishment and I’m trying to focus on the positive, because the actual lifting sucked.

I tried to work up to 130×2 on bench. All I got was a god awful ugly single.

Apart from feeling deconditioned after taking a week off, I was also wearing my flat soled shoes and I still struggle to set-up in those. I did some dumbbell bench after deadlifting to make up for the otherwise shitty bench day, and I’ll see how my bench is feeling with my lifting shoes on Sunday.

In the meantime, I also had to deadlift for the first time in over 2 weeks. My callouses had basically disappeared, so I knew this was going to be bad. I’d also been avoiding putting on my belt because I’ve been feeling so fat, but then it was too loose and I had trouble pushing against it. I did manage 10 singles at 335 with 1 minute rest – that’s about 90% of my last tested 1RM. Unfortunately they all felt slow and were lacking in fluidity. Blerg. If you find my mojo, please return it to me.

As a finisher, I did 100 kettlebell swings which I count as deadlift accessory work and conditioning work. But I used a 12kg KB, which is just sad.

Hey, did you see this article about how no one wants to listen to me talk about lifting all of the time? Well, I don’t want to talk about lifting, because it’s just bringing me down, man.

Instead, let’s talk about something else I really love: the environment. In fact, when I was younger, I paid a lot of money to a certain university to become an expert in tree hugging. Now I’m always on the look-out for interesting topics that examine the intersection of health and the environment – which is how I happened to notice an article in my Google Reader , yesterday, that later appeared in my Facebook feed.

Apparently, all of the whey being generated as a byproduct of Greek yogurt production is leading to eutrophication in certain water bodies. Huh.

I have to say, even when I knew dairy was making me sick, I really struggled to give up Greek yogurt. Now, I mentioned a couple of days ago that I’ve been listening to the archives of the Balanced Bites podcasts, and one of the recurring themes is that “Greek” yogurt is marketed as “healthy” yogurt, despite the fact that we are basically removing all of the fat and replacing it with sweeteners and skim milk powder. Between feeling duped by a marketing scheme and feeling a bit sad over how a “health food” can be so environmentally destructive, I have to say I’m happy to be off the white stuff.

Greek turkey breast fillets with butternut squash

Food Diary


  • 2 apple streusel muffins
  • 2 sausage patties
  • Green apple
  • Large coffee

Lunch: 2 Indian turkey burgers with carrot pancake buns

PM Snack: Sugar snap peas

Emergency muscle meal: Quest PB protein bar

Dinner: Greek turkey breast fillets with butternut squash

Calories consumed: 1945

Calories burned: 2760