Hi. Remember me? The shrieky old woman who unloads all her bullshit into cyberspace? Well, I'm back. You're welcome or I'm sorry, choose your own adventure.
You may remember from our last little digital tete a tete that I had just competed in a powerlifting meet following a dismally unsuccessful cut (I was shooting for 72kg). During that cut (a soul-sucking foray into salad eating) I gained something like 4 pounds? Yeah, you read that right. I ascended from my usual 75kg (165#, MAGA) to 77.1 on meet day and to north of 78kg in the day or two following.
Here I am in all my 170# glory.
On the recommendation of a friend, I signed on with Stronger U and was assigned to a coach with powerlifting experience. He gave me some macros and everything in my being rebelled against weighing my food, tracking every single morsel, and weighing myself every fucking day.
Weigh everything! Youself! Your food! Random household objects!
Measure everything! Egg whites! Oats! Motherfucking blueberries!
NO SUGAR EVARRRRR
WEIGH EVERYTHING! MEASURE EVERYTHING! EVERY FUCKIN' DAY!
I have a checkered relationship with the scale. I think a lot of people do, women in particular. I've been on so many bloody diets over the course of my life. When I'm feeling self destructive I weigh myself when I know I'll be the heaviest. You know, fresh off a night shift with a belly full of breakfast. After dinner with a belly full of water. Whenever will make me feel the worst about myself. I've learned over time that if I'm feeling really, really body positive that I should absolutely not step on the scale because that number will wreck me. I'll go from feeling like a goddamn siren to feeling like a fucking hippopotamus in one fell swoop.
Neurotic you say? Well yes, yes it is. I'm batshit crazy, but I'm nothing if not self-aware.
So. Cutting with Stronger U. I filled out a spreadsheet every day. Macros consumed, weight, self assigned "grade" for the day, hours slept, waist measurement 3 times a week, workout, and general notes. I hate to admit it, but that spreadsheet was what kept me on the straight and narrow. Not My Fucking Fitness Pal (who named that app...they couldn't think of something less insipid?). I actually stopped "completing the day" in MFFP because I couldn't stand the judgy little messages anymore. I sent the spreadsheet in every week with my progress pictures. Front/side/back.
Week one. Just kill me.
I hated taking those pictures. Every week, I hated it. Especially because every other week? I had to take them fresh off the night shift, all bloated and pasty. I can't pinpoint exactly why I hate the photos so much...maybe because I've taken so many "before" photos and never any "afters"? I mean god knows I don't fear the selfie, but something about putting on a swimsuit and photographing my cellulite made me cringe.
You know, it's the back view. That's why I can't stand the progress photo of it all. I cannot stand to see myself from the back. Hideous. I swear, if I could discover the cure for cellulite I'd make a mint. I'll wear the hell out of some booty shorts, but Jesus Fuck, don't photograph me wearing them unless the lighting is right. Ugh.
I struggled a lot initially. I was very resistant to preparing and eating the same damn thing every single day. I despise salad and I cannot abide the standard chicken/rice/broccoli that seems to be the standard for cutting. I would rather be heavy. That whole "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" saying is utter, total bullshit. Plenty of things taste as good as skinny feels.
I don't remember what they are anymore, but plenty of things.
I seem to recall these tasting pretty good?
Eventually I caved to that, too. I meal prepped. I tracked. I photographed. I spreadsheeted (spreadshot?). And the number on the scale started going down. Here's some of the shit I made. I also ate a fuckload of egg white oats and something I call "depressing cake" made from casein powder. Every time my macros got cut I died a little inside, but I adjusted my meals and carried on.
Taco bowls, I ate these a lot.
Wheat pasta with home made marinara
Shrimp and broccoli with chickpea noodles and cauliflower alfredo
Jerk pork loin with sprouts and potato
Shrimp stir fry with cellophane noodles
Vietnamese lettuce cups
Tomato marinated shrimp with quinoa and roasted eggplant.
I got on the scale every goddamn day except one because we were out of town (and I am NOT obsessive enough to bring my scale and weigh myself in a hotel). And one day, this happened.
I actually did it. Also? My house is disgusting.
And I took a final set of pictures.
Ugggghhhhh, the back view.
If I'm being completely honest, I don't see much of a difference. I feel different. My clothing size is different. There's less flesh squashing around, but even 12# lighter than the first picture, I don't see it. Neurotic AF, bitches. Right here. I took one set of photos that actually made me feel proud. These.
In a weightlifting singlet that I'll never wear outside my house.
So I made weight. I'm fighting to stay here. I have to keep myself below 72kg until 0900 on Saturday morning, because I'm telling you right now that if I weigh in at 72.1 I'm going to set some shit on fire.
I feel better about competing this time around. I'm pretty sure I'm going to beat my total from last time, and a higher total is always a good thing. Don't misunderstand, I'm not going to win anything. I'll probably have the lowest total in the comp, but it'll be better than the last one. Ultimately I'd like to hit a 600# total. In theory that shouldn't be a problem. Hell, most of the people who started around the same time I did (and after me) hit that right away. Well, I'm not athletic. It takes me longer to master things. It takes me a LOT longer to build strength. Fortunately or unfortunately for me I'm also pigheaded, and that makes me tenacious as fuck. There are many people more talented than I am. Stronger. More powerful. But I am relentless, and that's just as good.
I am a Tenacious B.
So after this meet, what's next. Well, first I'm going to take a breath. I've been hard driving towards 72kg for so long that I've forgotten how to relate to food like a normal person. This assumes of course that I've ever related to food like a normal person and that's debatable. I need to back away from tracking and the scale for a week or so and try to get used to my body again. I need to assess what I've done and what I need to do to either stay here or not. I need to un-diet so that I don't end up stuck on these starvation level macros for the rest of my life (I'm not kidding here. 145c/43f/120p or roughly 1400 calories a day, and I've been here for over a month). I need to reassess my goals and decide what works for me to maintain the aesthetic that I like and build the muscle that I need to pull a semi (not kidding here either, #goals).
And because I'm a neurotic asshole, I'm going to need help. So I got some.
This is Alex. He talks a lot of sense. Hopefully he'll be able to talk sense to me without wanting to bash in my skull.
You can find Alex on his website at www.alexmaclin.com We had a little chat last week and I dumped all my crazy onto the floor for him to sift through, and he didn't block my number so that's a good sign.
My challenges going forward are mostly about reframing the way I look at food and how what I eat and how I track (or don't) relates to my real life. I went from structured program with NH to free for all to cutting with RP (and fuck you, RP! Fuck you very much!) to hard core cutting with Stronger U. All these methods were learning experiences, but now it's time to find my own method. The one I can work long term.
For the next four days I'm going to drink all the water and curse the clearance candy and turn down treats. Saturday I'll give my all on the platform and hopefully walk away with a shiny new deadlift PR. I'll enjoy a few beers and some type of previously forbidden food...and then I'll go back to eating normally.
You know what I can't wait to eat? Whole eggs. Egg white are bloody depressing. You know what else is depressing? That whole eggs sound like a treat.
It's been a long cut, y'all.
Even Miss Piggy slims down occasionally.
You may see blogs more frequently as I try to figure all this shit out. Apologies in advance.