Today was my measurement day for Precision Nutrition, and I had to take my 3-month progress photos. I don’t know what it is about the progress photos, but they always leave me feeling bummed out for the rest of the day.
I feel like my weight has yo-yo’d up and down so many times in my life that the number doesn’t even phase me. My weight is just an objective measurement, giving me feedback about whether I’m making progress towards my goal of one-day being not fat.
But then I take progress photos and I think, “Is there a difference? Or is that just the result of different posture, different lighting, different underwear, etc.?” And even if I think I see a difference, there are so many things left to fix. I feel like I am developing a huge disconnect between my mind and my body, and my progress photos are the reality check. I have been consistent enough in my diet and lifting over the past few months that I am starting to have this mental identity of looking and feeling fit and then and I see pictures of myself in my underwear and I just look really fat. And now I am starting to develop that beef-jerky stomach look that formerly fat people have. Ugh. Sad.
I am a little bit bummed out because I only lost 4lbs this month and my progress photos reflected that reality. I am bummed out because I still need to get my weight down another 9lbs before my meet in 5 weeks. I feel like I am already doing so many of the right things, and I don’t want to resort to a crazy diet or waterloading because I know it will end in a rebound. It always does. And Christmas is 2 months from today and I just want to go home and not be the fat sister in all of our family photos for once.
I am trying not to get too down on myself. I did treat myself after my meet last week – I ate an incredible Rouladen and a glass of Riesling for dinner on Saturday. I made chocolate chip protein pancakes on Monday. I ate a lot of dark chocolate. I mean, a lot. And on Wednesday I ate some milk chocolate, too. That is the only choice I somewhat regret this week, but I work for the federal government in Ottawa, so Wednesday was quite an exceptional day and a few squares of milk chocolate aren’t worth dwelling on.
I was also making the effort to eat vegetarian this week and I noticed that I was consuming a lot of beans, a lot of soy and more sodium than I normally do. Add in some hormonal chaos and I’ve felt painfully bloated and kind of foggy all week.
There is a part of me that really wants to move towards being vegan. Like, on my continuum of health, I see Twinkies on one end and raw paleo vegan at the other extreme. Maybe I will never reach that pinnacle of health but I would like to move closer towards it. Unfortunately, I really noticed that I was not feeling my best on a vegetarian diet. I am pretty sure that when I eat vegetarian, my macronutrients get all out of whack. I was doing okay on the protein front, but I just felt weighed down by all of the additional carbs.
My other issue with eating vegetarian is that I tend to rely heavily on dairy to meet my protein needs, and I know that I have issues with dairy. I feel like my weight loss is stalled and cutting out all of the cottage cheese and greek yogurt and whey that are staples in my diet seems like a logical way to move forward. I just need to go a couple of weeks without dairy and see if some of my digestive issues don’t resolve themselves. My new PNLE habit as of Monday is to document my meals, so this is a great time to monitor my dairy intake and see if anything else is sneaking into my diet.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on the meal planning habit. This is one of the easier or more natural habits for me because it’s already integrated into my life. I live alone so I don’t need to consider other people’s tastes or schedules. I’ve been doing a lot more cooking and a lot less eating out since starting the PNLE program and at this point the planning is second nature. Actually, I think the fact that there was no drop in my weight with this habit shows that it wasn’t a big departure from my normal routine.
Speaking of routines: let’s talk about lifting because apparently I am 5 weeks out from another meet. The good news is that the more distance I put between myself and my meet last week, the better I feel about the meet. When we went to World Pride in Toronto in June, I weighed over 200lbs. I weighed in somewhere in the ballpark of 165lbs. If weight loss is my priority at the moment, then I have no reason to feel disappointed in my body for not PRing and I can maybe even feel good about the level of strength that I have retained. But I’m still terrified that I won’t make weight in time for Provincials in November.
My goals November are simply to compete at 72kg and improve my wilks. So this week I was back in the gym because there is no time to lose. I am switching to Bulgarian style training for the next 5 weeks. I need something lower volume because any amount of volume was killing me while trying to lose weight. I want to focus on my big 3 lifts and not worry about a ton of finicky accessory work. And I need to practice squatting without a mirror in front of me, because that was a problem I had on the platform. Unfortunately there is literally no conceivable way to squat at my current gym without looking in the mirror.
And then on December 1st I am switching to some sort of Crossfit or bikini girl routine, because I am so sick of prepping for powerlifting meets and I just want to be lean. But first things first: I just need to take this one day at a time until the meet is over.