Sorry I haven’t written much.  It’s taken me a couple weeks to chop away at this blog, so if it reads that way, you know why.

New job is going well.  My new school’s class schedule is a rotating A-B-C block, for those of you familiar with such things.  It’s a little complicated, but the combination of the block schedule with the classes I’m teaching has made managing my life easier.  I spent the three weeks of winter break moving and setting up the new room.  School’s been back in session for another three four weeks.  I can’t lie – I have been a little lazy about working ahead with lesson planning and staying caught up with grading until this week.  I feel like I’m getting more organized and can start planning ahead.  It’s nice to be back in a system I understand.  It’s been a bit of a gear change to move from 13-year olds back to 17-year olds.  I have great students, but they come with a wide variety of motivation.  The first couple of weeks were fun, but the honeymoon was over for the kids as soon as notes were being taken every day, assignments were due, and the quizzes and tests started happening.  And yes, I will take your cell phone if you’re texting in class.  Even if you are texting your “mom”, which they tell me is happening every time I catch them.  Teaching is always a new job.  Every year you do it.

About the prep – things are progressing.  Feels a bit like two steps forward, one step back sometimes, but progressing none the less.   After about 6 weeks of dieting, the coach told me to eat maintenance calories for a weeks.  He looked at my pics and told me to eat at maintenance for another week.  YAY!    This diet deload was a nice break and it was effective.  I didn’t gain weight and it was psychologically rejuvenating.   However today, I’m back to deficit calories for at least the next month with no planned refeeds.

The ‘diet deload’ concept makes sense for me (and it’s why I researched and pick this coach – he’s smarter and more effective than most).  The body adapts.  There is no way my body would get through a long contest prep without adaptation (i.e. slower metabolism).   I have spent the last year increasing my caloric capacity (how much I can eat and not gain weight) and now is the time to use that increased capacity to lose body fat.  So far, I’m still not doing any cardio and I’ve lost weight consistently since last September.  Slow and steady so far, and it’s going to get interesting now that I’m about to start the last few months of digging.  I’m excited about this prep.  So far, doing things a little differently has been more effective and less stressful.

Interesting to compare my pics in the same suit from 2012 to last week.  In 2012, I had been lifting for two years and was following a traditional ‘bodybuilder’ diet.  Since July 2013, I’ve been more flexible with my food choices, but still tracking macros.  I am about five months out from a show in both pictures.  2012 was my first show and the one this summer will be my third.  (Learning how to pose makes a difference, too.)   This picture makes me wonder about where I will be for my fourth show in 2017?   (I think taking a year off between shows was a smart decision for me.  Seems like the most elite natural bodybuilders are patient like that, so I guess following their example makes sense.  More lean mass, improved conditioning.)

What Lifting Does Over Time


My lifting program is still using DUP (daily undulating periodization) where I work multiple body parts during each workout.  The volume and intensity change over the week for the same exercises.  Last month,  I asked coach to split things up to have more of an upper day/lower day focus because I wanted more recovery time for lower body.  Adjustments need to be made now to work around healing muscle pulls in my legs.  The last one was an abductor pulled doing sumo deadlifts.  Now, when I stand with feet shoulder width apart or wider, I’m hitting that spot I pulled so it’s preventing me from using weight heavy enough to work other parts of my quads and hamstrings.  So we are going to replace deads with RDLs and squats with leg presses for a while.   Frustrates me, but I know it’s OK.  I will still make progress with different exercises and I’ll stay healthy.   There is a Cybex leg press at 24 Hour Fitness here in my town that I like a lot.  The geometry of it fits my body well.  Other leg press machines are awkward for me to use.  I guess I’ll be driving into town for those lifts.  It’s a good thing – the little Anytime Fitness near my house has been too busy for the amount of equipment they have there.  (Over the last decade, I’ve accumulated three gym memberships.  I have one of those ridiculously cheap lifetime memberships at 24, so its basically free – $49 a year.   Can’t get those anymore.  If I had to go to the same gym every day, I’d probably quit working out.  I get bored and I need to move around.)

I know one reason I get hurt is because I don’t get enough sleep.  The job change has helped.  It doesn’t seem that I can actually get a full night’s sleep each night.  If I do one night, it’s hard to fall asleep early enough the next night.  So I’m trying to get a long sleep every two or three days.   As we age, sleep issues come up.  I know some of my problems are new and are related to being older.  I suspect most are related to my need to decompress every day.  I need at least two hours to sit quietly, talk to no one, do nothing but watch TV and turn off my brain.  (I’m an introvert.)  I also need a couple hours to visit with Hubby.  If I can come home from work right after school, I get those hours and I can fall asleep early enough.  If I don’t get home early, I’m up later.  After three muscle pulls now, it might be smarter for me to skip the morning lift if I can’t get to bed by 7 pm.  (Yeah, that early.)

About a week ago, I found out that my doctor died.  She was about my age.  I haven’t found out much info about what happened, but I did see a Facebook thread where someone said she had a heart attack.  That doesn’t really make sense to me.  It doesn’t fit with how I thought she lived.  If you read Dr. Conley’s bio, you will understand that she was a unique doctor and will be impossible to find anyone else like her.  I’m sad for her, for her daughter, for her patients, and for the people who worked for her.   I’m grieving my loss, too.  We were not personal friends and I haven’t seen her much lately.  I used to see her frequently.  She was the doctor who helped me when I wasn’t healthy.  She’s the one who tracked my transformation medically.  She’s the one who put me on blood pressure meds and took me off them .  I will never forget that visit.  She looked me in the eye, smiled, and said “no one gets off meds”.    I know I need to call the office and find out who is taking her patients, but I’m not looking forward to making that call.  I’m overdue for my annual – it was supposed to happen last fall.  I’m sad I missed my last chance to see her.

Well, that’s it.  Or rather, I need to be done writing today.  I don’t know how I used to find time to blog every week.  I miss it, though.  b Thank you for following and supporting my journey.  It’s been a tough year and knowing I’m accountable to others helped me stay focused.  Maybe as I get the new teaching gig calibrated I’ll be able to write more often.


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