A Dainty Diary of Lifting

Week in review

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4 weeks from today, I will be competing in my first meet in almost 2 years.

I know I said I didn’t care about the meet, that I was feeling totally apathetic. But then this week I got into the gym and I failed work sets of bench, squat, OHP and deadlift. Hell, I failed a 185lb warm-up set on deadlift this afternoon and laughed because I was otherwise speechless. And I cried at the gym yesterday when I failed my squats. I was supposed to squat 290×3. 290 was my 5RM a month ago! And instead I got one measly rep, which led to ugly-crying in front of the two ultimate frisbee douchebros that I absolutely can not stand, followed by an all encompassing rage for everything. It’s been a long time since I cried at the gym. Guess I do care about the meet a little bit after all.

But… this morning was my weekly weigh-in. I lost 4.9lbs this week. So I really have no reason to be angry.

Just like I was surprised that I failed weights I’ve hit comfortably before, I was a bit shocked by the weight loss. I’ve been eating 4 meals a day, and I often think that I’ve eaten more to more than 80% full. Oh, and I’m supposed to be eating 5 fist-sized servings of vegetables every day for PNLE and I feel like I have just consumed an ungodly volume of food this week. Like, I wasn’t keeping track or anything, but I would estimate that I was only eating ~3 servings per day before this habit.

On the one hand: this is great. I don’t feel like I’m eating at a deficit at all and I’m losing weight. Isn’t that what every female dieter dreams of? And having lost 21lbs in the past 7 weeks, I just feel better walking around. I fit into my work clothes again! My “perfectly fitting” jeans are getting saggy in the bum and crotch and thighs. I fit into my medium lever belt, after I had to go out and buy a large. I’ve also noticed that my blood sugar is more stable – I don’t have that mid-afternoon slump that I always thought was genetic. And since my weekly update wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my digestive issues, everything is functioning super smoothly which I love, love, love after having so many issues in the past.

And on the other hand: if weight loss is my priority, that’s fine. But dropping 5lbs in a week is pretty strong evidence that I haven’t eaten to support to my lifting, so I can’t even bring myself to be disappointed in my body. I went back and looked at my diet this week: by increasing the amount of vegetables I’ve been eating, some of my dense carb sources seem to have fallen off. Basically, I’ve been having a handful of berries at breakfast and all other carbs have come from a serving of oats pre-workout and beans (or lentils) that were actually my protein source.Normally my diet looks more like: an english muffin at breakfast, potatoes at lunch, oats pre-workout and rice at supper. Therefore I strongly suspect that this week’s weight loss was induced by my body going into shock over carb withdrawal.

Like, I said: energy levels have been fine, I don’t feel deprived and it’s okay if I want weight loss to be my priority. I’m more than 2 months into PNLE and my compliance (or “consistency”, as they call it) is still at 100%. I feel like I have a ton of flexibility to eat whatever I want, but I’m still making good food choices. I am awesome. I’m going to continue eating like this, and as a result, I’ve thrown my goals for my meet out the window. I am probably not going to set a 10lb squat PR without injuring myself. And I know I said that it would be okay if I competed at 84kg, but to be honest, I wasn’t very good at heading that counsel. I want to compete at 72 and now it might actually happen. New goal: improve my wilks from 2 years ago.

In other news, my trip up North totally screwed my hips. I had hip tightness, bordering on pain in my right hip all week and I could not get my left glute to fire. After coming back from that extended break, I was totally pain free and now I’m back to my old “grinding / popping / painful” routine. Or at least I was until yesterday. While squatting yesterday, my left hip made a loud popping sound and visibly shifted. It felt glorious, and today has been pain free. However, on Tuesday when I was walking to work and freaking out about how uncomfortable my hip had gotten, I decided to join hot yoga to try and manage my hip while I’m preparing for the meet.

I chalk this up under my “big accomplishments” list. The last time I did hot yoga, I passed out in half moon pose and caused a huge scene. So I was too embarrassed (and freaked out) to go back. Luckily I’ve got through a couple of classes at this new place and I’ve managed to remain conscious. I did get a condescending “If this is too difficult, you can go into child’s pose” from one of the instructors, though.  I’m signed up for a tune-up class tomorrow. It’s the class I’ve been waiting for all week, with a focus on recovery. Unfortunately it falls during the same timeslot as the Pats home-opener. They had better win without my viewership. I’ve had enough of failure this week.


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