Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weddings, Weight Loss, and Watching TV

I would say this accurately describes my weekend this weekend. Saturday morning's weight was 140.2...right where I thought. But since I didn't have my cheat meal Saturday (waiting for tonight), I weighed myself this morning and couldn't believe what I saw...138.4. Now THAT was a good feeling. This week I'm going to start backing things off a bit. Bring my cardio down slowly and switch things up with the diet to include some extra calories. At this point, the goal is for me to stay right around 142 until I start my prep in July. How quickly I gain the weight back, though, is going to determine when I start my prep, which I'm thinking will be longer than 16 weeks since my body has this uncanny ability to put on fat and cling to it for dear life.

On a non-training note, I went to another wedding yesterday. It was waaaaaay out on the very eastern tip of Long Island. A friend of mine that I worked with back in my college days at Abercrombie was getting married. She and her now-husband actually met after one of my shows. It was the second show I ever did, and I took the overall in bodybuilding and figure so we all went out for a little afterwards to celebrate. Well, when I went home, she went to another bar where she met her hubby, and now, 4 years later, they're married. Anyway, the wedding was on a vineyard, and apparently there are LOTS of vineyards in eastern Long Island because we passed about 50 of them before we got to the one where the wedding was being held at. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't eat any of the food and got all the "why aren't you eating?" bullshit. I've gotten much better about giving a quick answer and not getting annoyed at people when they ask me that. The wedding started late and by 11 they still had to do the cake, bride and groom dancing with dad and mom, and the bouquet. As much as I hated to leave, I was hungry, cranky, and had a 3 1/2 hour drive home (don't even ask why I didn't just get a hotel room there in the first place). I made it home by 2:30 and was in bed asleep by 3:30.

After sleeping 4 1/2 hours, I was up to train this morning at 8 and have since spent the rest of the day in a half coma on the couch watching TV and counting down the hours until my cheat meal tonight. For now, it's back to the couch before going back to the gym for round 2 of cardio...thank god it's only 30 minutes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bad News Bears

Today I went back to see my doctor since I've had NO results from physical therapy. My doctor apparently now thinks I have bulging/herniated discs at L3, and L5/S1, so he referred me for an MRI and an EMG. What I want to know is, why didn't he tell me this 6 weeks ago and send me for an MRI then instead of sending me to weeks of PT that he knew wasn't going to work? I still have to wait for my insurance company to approve the MRI, so I don't have an appointment yet. I'm anxious to see what's going on in there.

Last night's leg workout was AWFUL! Worst I've had in a while. The pain and numbness in my left leg was unbearable. I couldn't handle any weight, and I literally did most of the workout in tears (I'm totally the biggest crybaby ever). Started with 4x20 extensions to pre-exhaust my quads, then went over to leg press where we did 3 increasing sets of 10-8-6 followed by a high rep set of 30. Then we moved on to hack squats where my intention was to do 2 sets of 10 one and a half reps. I crumpled under the sled after 7 reps on the first set. Pulled off 10 pounds for the second set and only got 6. Being the stubborn biatch that I am, I decided to try the same weight again and only got 5. Next we super-setted walking DB lunges with 1-leg extensions for 4 sets. By this time, I had no feeling in anything on my lower left half and had no pump in my left quad. For the first time ever, I think I experienced what it's like to expend more energy fighting my body than actually fighting the weight. I miss the days when I used to get leg-day anxiety because I knew it would be a killer workout. Now I get leg-day anxiety because I dread the pain/numbness. Plus I also get back-day anxiety now because I can't dead lift without being in pain. It's just so frustrating.

This morning I trained hams with little difference in physical or mental state from last night and then finished with 35 minutes of cardio. I'll do the remaining 55 minutes tonight after work. Tonight and tomorrow will be a welcome mental break from training.

On a bit of a more positive note, I weighed myself this morning. Unfortunately it was after the morning's workout and after I'd drank a ton of water, so it's not what I would consider an acurate weight (since I always check first thing on a completely empty stomach). I was 143.4, which means the weight is going in the right direction now. I think I should be at 140 by Saturday. I'm really hoping to see 139, but I don't think that's realistic. My upper body continues to get harder, but, as usual, my lower body remains fat. I know it's going to be a brutal diet for me in order to get my glutes to come in, but I don't care. I want it so bad. One good thing I know about myself is that once I'm locked in, it's like a switch flips and it's virtually impossible to derail me. Guess that's good and bad.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Week, Even Better Weekend

So my weight this week is NOT at all reflective of the progress I made. My weight stayed the same, 142.6, but my pictures showed a significant change. The two things that really stuck out to me were the detail that's already showing in my upper back and the very tiny bit of hamstring that was noticable in my rear-facing poses. While I was certainly trying to put on overall size this offseason, I knew I needed to focus on my back (mostly width, which is still a work in progress, but also thickness) and my quads/hams. I have spent that past 11 months hammering away at these body parts, literally. And like any athlete can attest to, seeing the fruits of your labor is one of the best feelings ever...right next to being awarded the overall win for that hard work. As much as I began to struggle with dead lifts at one point in my offseason, they have 100%, without a doubt paid off. I only hope the heavy squatting has helped my ass as much as it's helped my quads.

A little side story: I can remember as early as the 6th grade, I began really HATING my legs. I always thought that they were just too big. A good friend of mine also happened to feel the same way about her legs, and we made a pact to always wear pants all year long (I guess neither of us wanted to be the only ones wearing jeans in the middle of the 90 degree summer). As silly as this sounds, I am convinced that my crazy obsession with training legs stems, at least partly, from that time in my life. Also, I have always wanted to have tight, shapely, and if I'm really lucky, striated glutes on stage.

Anyway, my workouts this week felt pretty good. I had a tough time getting going in yesterday's chest workout and this morning's back workout, but once I got into a rhythm, things moved along well. I had taken pictures last night, and we decided that I needed to revamp my back training to focus more on pulldowns. I did a bunch of different pulldown grips including, close grip, reverse grip, wide grip, and straight arm press downs. I also threw in some heavy t-bar rows (love them!), bb rows, and 1-arm db rows.

And I'm looking forward to the rest of this weekend because my little brother's home for the long weekend. It's not often that I get to see him since he's out in Hawaii, but he is at an officer training school in Maryland, so he drove up for the weekend. Tonight, we'll probably meet up with some of his friends, and then tomorrow night it's a little family bbq at my pseudo-parents' house. The only way to make this weekend better is for me to head to the couch now and take a little nap before round 2 of cardio ;-)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend Recap

Saturday was the NY Pro show at the Tribecca. As planned, I got up and did 50 of my 80 minutes of cardio, rushed home to shower and eat, and then flew down to the city. I was down there by 10:30, and pre-judging started at 11. I couldn't believe how packed it got (and it only got even more packed at night). I got to meet some pretty cool people throughout the day and generally had a really good time. I don't know what it is about working at the Species booth, but I always seem to have fun. It's definitely a long day, but it's worth it. I just love being around the sport. Now don't get me wrong, there are a lot of aspects of the industry, namely the superficial one, that I absolutely can't stand. I think I find it tolerable knowing what reality I go home to during the week. My life is completely boring (in case you haven't figured that out yet), but I genuinely LIKE it that way. Working at these shows spices it up for a day and then allows me to escape back to my dull reality. It also makes me appreciate my day-to-day routine. No matter how hard I try, I could never enjoy a wild, crazy, unscheduled lifestyle. Even in college, when I truly did party hard, I still maintained a pretty boring, structured life during the week. Hell, even during the craziness of Saturday, I was still able to inject some of my own structure...after pre-judging, I ran across the street and hit up the NY Sports Club to train chest and finish off my cardio (despite a tempting offer from some friends to go to a VERY enticing steakhouse). I even got to train for free when the membership guy found out I was working for Species at the show (apparently he's a pretty big bodybuiding fan).

I didn't think I would get a good workout on Saturday, but my chest was pretty sore Sunday morning. I trained shoulders that morning and had a pretty good workout considering that my chest was more tired and sore than I expected. My weigh-in this week was 142.6, which is down 1.8 from last week....that's what I like to see, good, steady progress. And it's a nice feeling that people seem to be noticing the changes....of course, it's not that hard to see that my head has gone from looking like a watermelon to looking like a large cantelope.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ok, Now I'm Hungry

So I'm at the end of my 3rd week, and I'm starting to feel the hunger becoming more consuming. My cardio went up to 80 minutes this week and I had two protein/veggie days this week. They are NOT fun. My workouts have been pretty good, and I'm not feeling overly weak. I seem to be doing a little better this week with keeping them short. When I did my mid-week weight check on Wednesday, I was back up to!? The only thing I could think of that would cause that was a back up in my own little septic system. I don't remember having this much of a problem last year, but I wasn't able to get a good poop in until this morning and then again this afternoon....I know, TMI (but who's really reading this anyway?). I finally feel like the rock in my stomach is gone, so hopefully that will reflect in my weight tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I will be heading down to the Tribecca to work at the Species booth at the NY Pro. As much as I love to do this, I get overwhelmed when I know I have to fit in cardio and a workout. If I wasn't dieting, I would just say F it and skip the day all together. I'm going to have to get up super early tomorrow morning and do 50 minutes of cardio at my gym up here. And then I'll have to be Ms. Anti-Social after prejudging and shoot over to a gym to train chest and finish the rest of my cardio. Hopefully I won't catch too much flack for this. And I realize that I'm not prepping for a show right now so I don't have to stress about the end result all that much, but it's weird for me. It's like a switch flips when I start a diet and there's no room for deviation. I either do it 100% or don't bother. The good thing will be that I'm sure I'll be so busy at the booth that I won't be entirely focused on how much time I have left before my next meal. The difficult part with that will be that it's going to be a loooooong day, so I'll be especially hungry at the end. Oh well, it'll still be an interesting day and something other than me sitting around the tiny little cardboard box that I call my apartment....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time

This has absolutely nothing to do with training (and it's definitely NOT pb and j time for me now), but this has to be one of my all-time favorite parts from Family Guy. I mean, how can you not laugh?

Anyway, it's the end of the second week and I lost another 2 lbs, down to 144.4. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this morning. My last two workouts, chest and then back, were really good this week. I felt pretty strong and had good mind/muscle connection. I know on this diet I'm supposed to keep my workouts should, and I have been. Except I'm cheating. I'm keeping them short by doing lots of supersets. This would be fine, except my volume is still high because I do lots of supersets. At this point, I feel like I should take advantage of the fact that I'm not rediculously starving or weak and keep pushing my workouts with the higher volume because I know that will come to a screeching halt once the protein/veggie days enter into the mix...which will most likely be next week. We'll just have to see what changes come with this week's diet.

This was also my second week with the physical therapist who continues to do a lot of deep tissue work on my lower back and upper glute to relieve the pressure on my sciatic nerve. It seems to be helping, but I think it's going to take a little longer to heal than even the PT might have expected. He's also working on my IT band, which was also increcibly tight. And based on the work that he's done, it seems that my problem may not have even been my hamstring. To be honest, I don't care what the issue is/was, as long as I can go back to training pain free back there, I'll be a happy camper. The big test will be to see how it feels when I dead lift, as I haven't done those in at least a month. I'm going to wait until I'm back to eating more food before I attempt to go back to them.

As far as things go mentally, I've been feeling better and having a more optimistic outlook on my workouts. I think going on this mini diet was good for me mentally in that it takes the pressure off of me always feeling like I need to be getting new maxes and making huge weight increases each week. I hope at the end of this diet, I'll be ready start working towards that again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just Pluggin' Along

Halfway through week 2 on the diet and I'm still doing ok. Last night I trained legs and felt like I had sand in my legs felt so heavy, and I wasn't nearly as strong as I was last week. I don't necessarily think it's the diet (it's too early to be losing any strength), but either way, I really struggled through the workout. Apparently, I did get something done though because my legs are pretty sore today. I changed up my split, AGAIN. Since my schedule changed at work back in January, I can't seem to find a good split. I feel like I've been all over the map. But training legs Tuesday nights and then hams first thing Wednesday morning seems to be the best option (and of course, everything else revolves around leg training). So tonight will be more cardio, tomorrow morning will be only cardio, and then I won't train again until I do chest on Friday that will be a good rest period.

Even though I weighed in last weekend, I wasn't able to get pictures done until Monday night. My waist is always the first thing to start coming in, and that's no different now. I'm also pretty happy with the work I've done on my back (now that I've finally seen it in pictures)....I'm excited to see how it looks once I'm really dieted down. Again, I was really surprised with my quads. Those things grew like weeds this offseason! And dammit, they should have. I was worried that they might start to overpower my upper body, but considering what I'm going to have to do (cardio and diet-wise) to get my ass to come in the way it should, I'll likely lose some of that muscle. It's almost like I have to factor in lost muscle there because the fat on my ass is so damn stubborn. I also know that I need to learn how to pose because I'm just downright BAD at it.

Also, I can't believe that I have managed to stick to a contest diet when I know I'm still smack dab in the middle of my offseason. Of course, one look at my fat, lumpy ass and I'm sure to stick to it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Little Dieting And A Little Partying

This was my first full week on the test diet, and I would say that it yielded pretty good results. I was down to 146.4 yesterday morning, after starting at 151. I just hope that we can keep the results coming. My cardio is up to 70 minutes/day this week, but no protein/veggie days yet, thank God. I'm hoping to have a cheat meal this upcoming weekend, but I figure that since this is going to be a short diet, I won't, and it's probably for the better. I know I'll really want on once those protein/veggie days kick in. Training went ok for the rest of this week, and I had a really good shoulder workout this morning. I managed to eek out a decent back workout yesterday, but was having trouble getting that mind/muscle connection.

Friday night, I went to a wedding for a good friend of mine. That turned out to be a great time (considering the horrible news she received earlier in the week when she found out that one of her bridesmaids was diagnosed with lymphoma and would be receiving chemo on the day of the wedding). I got to party with people from work who I don't often see outside of the office. I think they were surprised that I was able to put on some make up and look presentable in a dress....the common phrase to me was, "wow, you clean up really well." Hmmm, do I really look that bad at work? So, now it's one down and two more to go. I love wedding season :-)