I haven’t updated the blog in a long time, so if you’re here looking for some wisdom or advice, I’m sorry.  Not feeling it today.  We have two weeks of classes left before final exams and I’m wound a bit tight worried about getting kids ready to finish the semester strong.  The job has been – uh – challenging for the last month.  I’m a bit overwhelmed.

Training has been going well since Coach Berto modified my program a little.  I tried to make the first program he gave me work, but I couldn’t finish the workouts during the week – just didn’t have enough time.   I also needed a little more recovery time for some body parts.  After a couple of months of that, I found myself not enjoying my gym time.  I felt like I was too distracted trying to check things off a list.  It felt more like work.  I lift for several reasons, but most days, it’s how I manage stress.   It wasn’t fun when I ran short of time and couldn’t finish.  Now I can finish the workouts and I’m recovering well.

Definitely gaining – fat, sure, but it looks like there could be some lean mass in there, too.  A little.  After five years of lifting, the amount of muscle I can gain now isn’t going to be that dramatic.  Coach calls this an “improvement season” instead of an “off-season”.  I’m supposed to be making improvements.  And in my over-achieving fashion, I’m attacking this “improvement” thing from several fronts.

For a couple months now, I haven’t been tracking or logging food.   It’s been fun and scary.  Controlling food intake has been part of my life since 2009.  It’s time to learn how to feed myself to maintain my weight without being dependent on taking data.  I haven’t done a good job eating intuitively.  I’ve been eating too much.  And even though I’m still learning, I believe the over-feeding is why I’ve been recovering well and why I’ve gained a little muscle.  For the first couple months after my competition, I logged and was careful.  Supervised, I gained weight back slowly.  I did not rebound.  Today, I’m 20 pounds heavier than I was on stage in July.  I’m not comfortable at this weight, but I’m also not alarmed.  It has come back slowly and most of it was deliberate.  The last five pounds I’ve gained are the five pounds that make me feel uncomfortable.  I will track and log food for a little while to see what’s what and then pull things back to maintenance for a while.

While working on the physical, I’m still exploring ways to strengthen my psychology. There are a few things about my mental game that are not helping me.  What happened at my show in July rocked me. (Details withheld on purpose.) I panicked the night before – that’s not a secret.  Got past that, and then I felt humiliated at pre-judging.  For a few weeks after, I was disillusioned.   From what I’ve learned lately, there may be an element of shame to be dealt with, too.  Maybe it’s connected to being an introvert.  I love the process and I want to compete, but stage has not been an empowering experience for me.  (I’m only talking about the competition itself -the rest of the experience was wonderful.)  The more I learn and reflect, I think that show in July was the most courageous thing I’ve done in a long time.  So I need to work through things before I get back on stage again.  I love bodybuilding so much that I can’t imagine not competing, but I need to do this inner work, too.

It’s an interesting phase in my transformation.  Inside out – outside in.  Not going to get into details of the work I’m doing here – it’s a bit too personal.  Grateful to my husband, coach, and friends who are helping me process things by listening.

I wrote before that I was listening to the book, “The Power”.  Since then I’ve found myself pulled towards other books, each one was found by something that was said in the previous one that resonated with me.  After “The Power”, I listened to “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, “The Power of Intention” by Wayne Dyer, “Power vs Force” by David Hawkins, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” another by Wayne Dyer, “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown, and now am listening to “The Introvert Advantage” by Marti Olsen Laney.   I’m surprised by the number of books I’ve been able to get through.  Apparently, I’m a good multi-tasker.  I think that’s got something to do with being a teacher (ya think?)  I’m learning a lot.  Not all of it pertains to bodybuilding.  Some of the things will make me a better wife and a better teacher.  Much of it needs to just sit in my brain and stew.

The Anniversaries:

  • This Week: 20th wedding anniversary
  • Last week: 2 years with Coach Berto
  • Today: 25 years since my mother died.  It’s hard to imagine that people have been born and grown into adults in the time that has passed since I last saw my mom.

My introvertness is all flared up right now – words have moved beyond my reach.  It’s time to mentally shut down and re-charge my batteries.  My day tomorrow will be jammed with activity and noise.

Kettlebell Lateral Raises: 265 sets, 2762 reps, 4588 lbs…I see delts.  My back likes to grow and that’s cool.  But delts are being built the old fashioned way.


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