Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Put The Breaks On

Well, tonight I was smacked in the face with a reality I should have expected and prepared for. Lower the workout volume, dumbass! Yeah, I know I mentioned this in a previous post, so there's no excuse. I had planned on keeping the volume high like I usually do for as long as possible, but apparently "as long as possible" means five days into the diet. I started off with 10x10 side raises on the machine and then moved on to DB presses. Normally, 40's go up for 10 with no problem. HA! Not tonight. I struggled to get 8, and with no carbs, there is no squeezing out those final reps....the weight just comes crashing down. We went on to do 4 sets of bent over DB laterals, then 3 sets of a SS of reverse pec deck and rear delt pulls on the lat pull down machine (that's just the dumb name I gave them b/c I don't know what you'd really call them, but they work, so whatever). And since I'm a stubborn biatch, I just had to do more. So we did two sets of behind the neck presses on the smith machine SS'd with db laterals (top half only). We finished with a few sets of calves, which I HATE training. I am cursed with fucking cankles, and it's so gross.

After we trained, I posed for 15 minutes, and I have to's really disgusting to practice posing when I'm still so out of shape. I know I need to do it, but I can't even take looking at myself (eating disorder/body dismorphia at it's best, people).

As far as my diet goes, right now I'm at 2pv/2pf days. Today was my second pv day, and I was freaking hungry! I thought I'd feel ok for at least the first couple weeks, but as I write this, I'm so hungry. All my meat sources were cut back by .5 ounces, and my eggs were cut back from 6 whites to 4. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I'd take an extra ounce of chicken two extra egg whites right now. I've officially dubbed this the "Melissa Sucks Diet." Honestly, though, I'm complaining, but I can't wait to see what the final result is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Flip the Switch

It amazes me sometimes how I am able to do this. I've spent that past several weeks freaking out about whether or not I'd be able to get into a contest prep mentality. And now that it's here, I think I can safely say that I've never been so excited to be doing this. I'm looking forward to my workouts and not dreading the increasing cardio. I've worked with my coach before and have an idea of what to expect as far as the changes that will be made and how (shitty) I'll feel as the weeks go on. Of course, being the eternal pessimist that I am, I am fully expecting my attitude toward all this to change any day now. One thing that has helped is that there finally seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel with my current job stress.

So, now that the diet is here, I've changed up my training split a little bit to accomodate my new work schedule and also try to make the most of my energy during my workouts. Split now looks like this:

Sunday: Arms
Monday: Quads
Tuesday AM: Hams
Wednesday: Shoulders
Thursday: Cardio only
Friday: Chest (blech)
Saturday: Back

I'm thinking that somewhere at about 10 or 8 weeks out I will probably combine quads and hams into one workout to allow for another rest day. This will depend entirely on how much cardio I'm doing at that point though. For now, this is where it's at.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Game On

Official starting weight: 142.6. Yesterday, I got things going with an awesome back workout. I only threw in a few different things, but DAMN my back is sore today. I love it. There's no better way to start things off than with a workout like I had yesterday. 40 minutes on the stepmill yesterday afternoon, and that was a wrap. This morning was arms, which also went well. I felt strong and got a great pump. I finished things off with about 15 minutes of posing. For now, my plan is to start with 15-20 minutes 3 times per week until I get with a good coach. Once I get better with my posing, I'll start to add it in more frequently...there's no point in practicing too much if I don't know what the F I'm doing. I'm heading in to work for a couple hours (yes, AGAIN), and then it's back to do cardio this afternoon. I'm happy that I'm starting things in a pretty good place mentally, but as anyone who's dieted knows, that will start to change daily. For now, I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and not get ahead of myself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coming Unraveled

So, umm, yeah, this whole posting more often thing clearly didn't happen this week. My worst fear about switching units at my job became a reality this week....things got so out of hand at work that it impacted my workout, both menatlly and time-wise. All my workouts have managed to get done, but there was no rhyme or reason to my schedule. For the past 3 weeks, I've put in over 50 hours at work each week, and if it keeps up like this, it's going to be a looooong miserable prep. I guess I shouldn't complain because I know there are people out there who have no work right now, so I should be grateful.

On a funny, not directly related to training, note, I had to dig out my old suit to wear to court this morning. Let's just say, I bought this suit six years ago after I got my Masters and started going on my first job interviews. I was also about 25 pounds lighter. The skirt fit ok but was tighter than I remembered around my ass and quads. The funny part was the jacket....FAT GUY IN A LITTLE COAT! I had to jam my snausage-arms into the sleeves, and I thought my shoulders and back were going to bust open the back seam, a la the Hulk. And you can forget about buttoning the jacket, the new twins were having none of that.

Well, it's hard to believe that tomorrow is officially my last day of the offseason. I know most people start their prep on a Sunday, but I have this rediculous supersticion about starting it on Saturday. I don't know where it came from or why I continue to do it that way, but it's always how I've done it. So, I decided to *cough cough* take the day off from work tomorrow and train in the late morning and then go out to lunch with a friend, where I'll have my last cheat meal.

Holy hell I don't know why I have so much anxiety about starting this prep. I think I just have such high expectations for myself, and I'm not all that sure that I'll meet them. And next time I post, I'll be officially into prep. It's so weird because I go back and read old posts and it felt like this time would never come. Now it's here, and I'm being a crazy idiot. Fuck, if I'm having a mini meltdown now that I'm only just starting prep, imagine what's going to happen the day after the show...I think I might spontaneously combust.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Think I'm Developing a Sleeping Disorder

Can't sleep, again! Only now it's 1:30am and I have to be up in just a few hours...FUCK! I don't know why I can't sleep becuase I was exhausted at like 10 last night and fell right to sleep but woke up with my mind racing. I can't believe I'm freaking out about starting this diet. What if I don't have the time to get all my workouts/cardio in? What if I can't make it through mentally? Things just got flipped around at work and I was unexpectedly part of that change. My entire caseload got switched, along with my schedule....great, the week before I'm supposed to start my diet. And then what if this fat doesn't start coming off? I was looking at pictures of me from last year's figure shows, and I can't believe how small and NOT muscular I look! What if I look like that again this year? All this hard work for NO progress? I know I'm going to get my ass handed to me at Nationals and was originally planning on doing it for shits and giggles. But now I wonder if I'll even have any business getting on stage for the Easterns. Then there's the whole posing thing. Basically, I suck at it right now. So not only will I look like a skinny, wet rag on stage but my posing will be equally crappy. No wonder I can't sleep right now....

Well, guess I might as well talk about last night's workout. We did arms and decided to switch things around. Usually we superset a bi and tri exercise, doing about 4 exercises for each. Instead, we did two sets of supersetting bi exercises followed by two sets of supersetting tri exercises. First was 5 sets of standing EZ bar curls supersetted with incline db curls. Then we did 4 sets of machine preacher curls supersetted with standing hammer curls. I couldn't believe how freaking fried my arms were. For tris, we started with 5 sets of skull crushers supersetted with one arm cable pressdowns and then did 4 sets of EZ bar cable press downs and one-arm overheard DB extensions. Son of a bitch my bi's were already sore by the time we got done with tris and my tri's are now equally sore. Tomorrow's legs, which is also contributing to my sleeplessness....I dread every leg workout and how much pain my hamstring could potentially cause. Ugh, and I'm still wide awake at the end of all this....guess I'll go back to watching bad middle-of-the-night TV.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

This morning's back workout was actually sick. We didn't do anything different or out of the ordinary, but I had good energy and felt strong overall. I moved some good weight, and I'm starting to feel it already. And as planned, I went in to work for a few hours afterwards to tie up some of the loose ends from Friday....but not until after we went and threw down at the diner. Well, I was actually pretty conservative considering how much food I can typically pack away. But, as I have done many times before, I managed to pretty much eat my training partner under the table. He's pretty sure that it's a genetic malfunction since my brother can eat me under the that's someone who could probably be a competitive eater, that crazy mf'er!

Anyway, this week, I've been given strict instructions to just eat (which was more than accomplished this morning) and do no more cardio than 30 minutes 3 times. Then we drop the hammer. I'm going to make an effort to post even more frequently through my prep but we'll see how that works, especially once the cardio gets high. Plus, the next several weeks are already looking busy and seem to be filling up quickly which gives me a lot of anxiety. A big part of the reason why I chose to prep for a late fall show was because I'd planned on being significantly less busy at the end of the summer and into the fall. But that's not really looking to be the case. I know you can't prep in a bubble, but it's nice to try and limit the stressors.

Oh well, last year was probably the most emotionally stressful and draining preps I've had so far, so I feel like if I was able to get through that, I'll be just fine this year. Even though I know damn well that things never work out to be that simple. I can honestly say that I had one of the more successful, enjoyable, and LESS stressful preps two years ago before the 2007 Eastern USA's. I trained with my partner through the entire prep (usually I go my own way for the full 16 weeks), and I really was able to keep things simple. Like I've said before, I want to enjoy watching my body change and see what the last 12 months of hard work have done.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Can't Sleep...

So I just got home a couple of hours ago from working at the Species Booth at the Empire States in Suffern all day. And in a VERY rare occurance, I can't here I am. After the past two days that I've had, I should have been face first in my pillow when I walked through the door. Not so much. Thursday started off with an early morning doctor visit to follow up on my hamstring MRI. The doc said it was negative and that he has no idea what's wrong with me. So what does he do? Tells me that I definitely have nerve damage and my left quad is atrophied, gives me a script for Prednisone to reduce the inflammation around my sciatic nerve, and sends me on my way. Are you fucking kidding me?!? So Thursday started with a mini-meltdown and, as usual was a long day because it's my regular late night at work. I had planned on keeping things pretty quiet on Friday because I had a lot of paperwork to catch up on...well, now I have a REAL lot of paperwork to do. Friday turned out to be literally non-stop action all day and was everything I wanted when I took this job, despite how draining it was. The day involved me running after a drunk person driving over a curb and nearly causing an accident, a chase through several nearby towns, a resisted arrest, and finally getting a local court judge to lock the guy up. Despite that I got a real sense of accomplishment in my job on Friday, my head was completely spinning by the time I got to the gym. I was looking forward to my shoulder workout, but I couldn't wrap my head around it. The weight felt too heavy, and I couldn't seem to connect with it. I knew a mucho meltdown was brewing, and sure enough, when I finally got home last night and let everything from the day sink in, it reared it's ugly head. When you step back and think about how an already bad situation could have been worse, it can be pretty freaking scary. And then you second-guess how you handled it and what you could have done differently. Needless to say, I was looking forward to today knowing that I could completely switch gears and not have to think about what happened.

I headed down to the venue this morning and got things set up. Pre-judging went quick and by 2pm we were heading to the gym to train. I figured I'd leave chest for today becuase I assumed I either wouldn't train at all or if I did, I didn't want to have a bad shoulder or back workout, so I switched things around. The workout was pretty crappy (I never have good ones when I feel like I'm rushed or in a gym that I'm not familiar with), but it got done and I'm glad I went. Much like the morning, the night show went quick and I was out of there before 9.

Tomorrow is back and I'm hoping to have a redeeming workout. The plan is to take my time and just enjoy it. I'll have to go into work later in the day to finish up the f'ing paperwork from Friday, but first I'm going to have a sick back workout, thankyouverymuch (that's my feeble attempt at being positive). Alright, so I'd like to make this week as positive as possible in the gym becuase I know how I get during prep. Even though every year I say I'm going to try to be less miserable, it NEVER happens. I guess all the contest diet does is enhance my already apparent miserableness haha.

Well, looks like recapping my own life is boring enough to make me sleepy, so it's off to bed I go finally.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Killer Quads

That's right bitches, it's been a good week so far! It's about damn time, too. So far all three workouts this week have been good, and tonight's was especially good. It's like a great quad workout is the equivalent of three good workouts for any other body part. Tonight we headed out to the same gym where I trained on Saturday because they have some awesome old school leg equipment. And when I get in a place like that, I'm like a kid in Toys R's a garaunteed HIGH VOLUME workout because I just want to use every damn machine in the place. We started out with squats, and my hamstring was feeling pretty good and my overall strength was on. I did 135/15, 175/10, 185/8, 195/7, then 205 for a solid 6.
But instead of being smart and staying with that weight for my final set, I got cocky and tried to go for 215. Although they were good reps, I only got 2. Then it was time to move on to leg press. The angle on the machine we used was ideal for my hamstring, as it put much more emphasis on my quads than the one I typically use. We did three sets of increasing weight followed by a drop set to fry the quads. The hack squat there was also angled much different than the one we usually use. It hit the glutes more than the inner quads and put quite a bit more strain on my knees, but it was a great change. We did three heavy sets there and followed that with 4 sets of higher rep extensions. And of course, I STILL wasn't ready to be done yet. My gym doesn't have a vertical leg press, so I just had to take advantage of the one here. Three sets here and the final one I started with 3 plates on each side with 10 reps, then stripped a plate from each side and did 10 more reps, and finally hammered out 15 reps after stripping another plate. I needed this workout for a little redemption because I'm feeling like I need to make the most out of my workouts during these next two weeks. I know I'll have to cut back on my volume once my diet starts, something that can be difficult for me at times.

I was considering having another cheat meal tonight, which probably would have been a good idea given the workout, but I couldn't bring myself to do it (I know, seriously, WTF is wrong with me). I wound up getting a bar and having some extra cashews, so yeah, that was my cheat meal. I'm just not hungry, and I know I'm going to regret this in about 8 weeks. But I'm usually pretty hungry the day after a leg workout so hopefully I'll be ready to throw down tomorrow. Ok, for now it's time for this old lady to get ready for bed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cruising Through the Next Two Weeks

Well the days keep ticking away and now I've only got two weeks left until I start my diet. With my contest diet quickly approaching, I went back and re-read a lot of what I wrote in this blog. I'm finding that it's important to kind of review your progress every once in a while. Puts things into perspective. I've been able to see how far I really have come in the past 13 months. And now that July 25th (which seemed so far away at one point) is just around the corner, I know I should be setting myself up to shock my body with the contest diet....having a couple cheat meals each week and backing way down on the cardio. Since I was only 142.4 this week, I had a cheat meal yesterday morning and also this morning. Ironically, knowing that I can, and even SHOULD, be having cheat meals makes me not want them. Talk about developing a fucked up relationship with food. I actually had to talk myself into ordering chocolate chip pancakes at breakfast this morning...I mean, really, who does that?

This weekend brought some great workouts. For Saturday's back workout, I changed gyms AND training partners, and it gave me just the kick in the ass that I needed. There's something to be said for training with another girl who trains like you and pushes the same weight...makes for an intense training session. I love training with the boys, but the right female training partner can make for a more competitive workout because we push similar weight. This morning's shoulder workout was solo and turned out to be pretty damn good. I actually felt strong for the first shoulder workout in a while. I decided to kick things off with standing presses and did 5x5. My intention was to use the same weight for all 5 sets, but I started off a little too light and wound up doing 85/5, 90/5, 95/5, 95/5, and then went a little too big for my britches with 100 and only got 3. Either way, they all felt good and set a good tone for the rest of the workout.

Oh, and how could I forget to mention that I finally went for an MRI of my hamstring on Friday. Well, it was actually of my femur, which meant that they got images of everything from my hip to my knee, front and back. I got a CD of the results and tried to look at it myself, knowing full well that I have no freaking idea what I'd be looking at. Hopefully, I'll hear from my doctor tomorrow or Tuesday about the results. I was really nervous going into this MRI because I just had a bad feeling that I'm going to get bad news. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ride or Die Bitch

Well, I'm not really, but it sounded cool. Actually, I'm just really looking forward to riding tomorrow, so to speak. I'm finally going to put to use the bike training that I did in the fall. Tomorrow I get to do home visits with two other guys who got bike trained, which means I get to ride in the beautiful weather for a few hours....THIS is when my job just rocks. And yes, we are more or less cops on go ahead keep laughing. But while you all are sitting behind your desks indoors, I'll be riding around enjoying the summer weather (albeit in the ghetto).

Tomorrow's ride is sadly the little bright spot in what's continued to be a horrible training week for me. My strength seems to be dropping off a bit, and I can't understand why. I felt weak last week and thought it was due to that special visitor, but I feel worse this week. Last night's leg workout included a nice little temper tantrum including tears and a stomp to the bathroom to pull myself together. I simply couldn't move any weight, and both of my knees have begun to hurt. I pretty much crumpled under the bar trying to squat 205. I got it for 5 and then 4 last week and struggled to get it for 3 last night. Hacks were equally unimpressive and trying to finish off with higher rep presses and extensions to make myself feel a little better with a good pump was rather lack luster. I sure hope this funk of mine lifts soon...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Random Crap

I don't really have anything eventful to post today, but I just got home from the gym and I'm bored, so here I post. I seem to have a bit of an over abundance of energy now that I'm not getting up early in the morning to do cardio (I'm doing my 30 minutes postworkout). I just wish I could channel it better into my workouts, as they don't seem to feel very productive lately (like I haven't mentioned that 1,000 times already). If only I could just truly relax during these next few weeks, but I'm so wound up with anticipation of the contest diet. Hell, it's almost 9pm and normally I'd be a complete zobie and trying to get ready for bed in about a half hour. Now, I'm sitting here staring at the clock wide-eyed wondering how the fuck I'm gonna fall asleep before midnight. And I'm willing to bet that I'll have a complete meltdown 10 weeks into the diet for the simple fact that I was to freaking antsy now and I'll be unnecessarily shot mentally.

I took pictures on Saturday this weekend and was reminded again that I desperately need to work with someone on my posing. The sad thing is that the person who was supposed to be there for that isn't around anymore. So now I'm left trying to figure something else out. I'm sure anyone reading this will think I'm completely nuts for worrying about posing at over 18 weeks out, but that's how I roll....PSYCHO.

Little bit of a funny story from work today (and by funny, I mean pathetic). Lately I have been doing my fieldwork with a different partner (we'll call him Benjamin Bratt--just go with me here for a minute). Usually I do my fieldwork with, well, we'll call the other guy Matthew McConaughey. Matthew just got back from vacation today and asked why I've been doing home visits so often with Benjamin. He then proceeded to jokingly tell me that he was going to fight Benjamin over fieldwork time with me. So, here I am such a lucky girl to have two attractive guys fighting over spending time with me, right? How 'bout no? Because only in my life would the two guys that are "fighting" over me both be married, and go f'ing figure, they're fighting over me for work stuff...neat. Hmmm, that could possibly be an FML story.

Aaaahhh yes, when I said random crap, I really did mean random crap. Aren't you glad you stuck around for the entire post?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ants in My Pants

Well, it was a long week this week....not much seemed to go right. Work continues to be rediculous, and I need to learn how to say "NO" to people. And I need to learn it fast, or I'm headed for a major crash and burn. I justify doing all these favors and working like I have been because I know that after I start my diet, everyone can pretty much go fuck themselves. I will not work a lick of overtime, and I refuse to cover for people.

My personal life continues to take rather interesting turns, and I'm just wishing for some stability there. And finally, training, the one thing that's supposed to be the neutralizing factor, is like pergatory now....I'm not exactly making progress in any direction. My strength is pretty much staying the same, and I'm still fat...ugh. Basically, I'm just trying not to get too fat before I start my diet. I mean the reality of the situation is both positive and negative...whether I put on fat or muscle during the next few weeks, neither one is going to stick once I start the diet. It's just incredibly frustrating to be putting in work and making no progress in any direction. I am repeatedly told to just relax and enjoy training for now knowing that that enjoyment quickly disappears as the diet progresses. But let's be serious, me relax? Right.