A Dainty Diary of Lifting

General Update on Life and Lifting: Lean Eating Update

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Hi. Someone told me to update my blog and I am highly suggestible, so I thought I’d do a check-in. I feel like I don’t have much to say, but in reality I feel like everything is changing inside of me and around me. I am still doing the Lean Eating Program and I am still on an anti-depressant, and both of these are slowly leading to some shifts in my life. Allow me to elaborate.

First, around the time that I started taking an SSRI, I noticed that my sleep habits were totally out of whack. I would be wide awake at 2 am, mindlessly browsing Reddit and then I’d be falling asleep at my desk the next morning. Once I started making a conscious effort to get a full night’s sleep I noticed that I felt more stable, even if I’m not always satisfied with my life. There is still room for improvement, but I’m getting six hours of sleep every night instead of three. I know this totally makes me sound like a little old lady, but being sleep deprived was undoubtedly making me miserable and fat.  

With all of this energy that I have now, I am relieved to say that I have once again settled into a gym routine. I may have mentioned that in my last update, but taking a step back and doing a less intensive-routine has been incredibly refreshing. I don’t care if I’m not “hardcore” enough for most powerlifters; I will be in the gym forever so I might as well enjoy it. And I suddenly understand why programs recommend periodic deloads, which I never bothered to take.

I will admit that I am still a little bit bummed by how light I have to go when working in sets of 15. I woke up one morning last week to the thought that all of this light weight, high-volume work might cause muscle-loss. I’ve been gripped with fear ever since.

Fortunately, while flexing in the bathroom mirror at work, I noticed that my formerly nonexistent triceps have suddenly made an appearance. I think that it would only be appropriate to thank all of the the 1-armed dumbbell incline bench presses I’ve been doing for their growth,  which is way more reassuring than it should be.  

So with regards to the exercise portion of Lean Eating, I certainly can’t complain. It’s giving me exactly what I need, whether I wanted it or not. On the diet side of things, I am not sure I can say things are going quite as smoothly.

Everything was going swimmingly until I was told that I should eat mindfully while hormonal. Apparently my interpretation of mindful eating is: Don’t mind while I eat an entire pint of ice cream in a calm and controlled manner.

In all seriousness though I know I am finally headed in the right direction, even if I haven’t put all of the pieces together quite yet. I said I was doing the year of Lean Eating because I needed some help learning how to listen to my hunger signals after too many crazy diets.  I can safely say that I am progressing towards that goal – but only one day at a time. Take Monday for example. I had a huge revelation on Monday: I do not chew my food. I just swallow it as I’m stuffing the next bite into my face. Unfortunately, coming to that realization is only the first step in trying to fix the problem. After years of inhaling my food, the effort required to overcome that impulse seems nearly insurmountable as I’m staring down a plate of food.

Which brings me around to another reflection that I’ve been mulling over lately: I used to feel irritated with all of the fitness-related messaging that’s out there and I couldn’t pinpoint why. Sure, I felt weak and inadequate every time someone said that getting fit was just a matter of working hard and “eating clean” is just a matter of willpower. But I’m now at a point where I can recognize that a lot of that messaging amount to nothing more than self-righteous bullshit. It doesn’t for a second take into account the compassion and support necessary for living a healthy and balanced life.

Oh and one other thing. I’ve gone on a couple of dates. I know: I’m shocked, too. And even though dating is not exactly the most weight-loss friendly activity in the whole wide world, I am at least in a frame of mind that I recognize that all of the habits I’m trying to implement one step at a time have to fit into my life – and my life is more than just than the gym and the diet of the moment. It seems somewhat funny to me that for the first time in a very long while, I feel like I will be successful in reaching my goals – to lose weight, to deadlift 405 one day – and at the same time I feel like I don’t need to be hung up on my fitness-related goals. They will come when everything else falls into place.


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