Reboot!

18 Feb

It was a hell of a bumpy week, as the norovirus decided to drop in for a visit, making everyone miserable. In some ways, it was almost like we’d been whisked back to the newborn era. There was a lot of nursing, a lot of angry wailing, and a three-day-long Mythbusters marathon.

In the thick of her run through the stomach sorrows, the toddler looked at me with a mixture of anger and confusion. Nursing couldn’t fix her pain; it made it worse. It was the first time it had failed her, and my heart was broken. A week later, when it was my turn to go through hell, her daddy whisked her away for hours and she was so, so angry that she couldn’t just have her mama. Again, my heart was shattered. My poor poppet.

I managed to miss two doses of my antidepressant at the beginning of the week. Each time I remembered I needed to take them, it was 3 a.m. and I was under a sleep nursing baby who’d just, just managed to fall asleep. It wasn’t until Monday that I managed to get back on schedule. The crash came on Friday, the impact leaving me smeared across the psychic pavement, sobbing and irrational. This time I wasn’t able to deadlift my way out of trouble. I just cried myself dry. The next morning, I was sick. There was concern I had done this to myself, but I hadn’t. Noro again, leading me into the glamorous lifestyle of dehydration headaches and sadness. The baby felt heavy in my arms.

This morning was the first time I felt like I could pick up any weight. I did a modified version of my 30×30 lift program and threw in some planks to get a headpat from my friend Mollie, the Plank Domme. Every lift felt amazing. My spirits are higher. My body is still a little wobbly, but it’s going to get better.

Monday, February 18

  • Standing Military Press:
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
    • 30 lb x 5 reps (+63 pts)
    • 30 lb x 5 reps (+63 pts)
    • 30 lb x 5 reps (+63 pts)
  • Barbell Floor Press:
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
    • My toddler trainer patted my face and giggled madly through the last set.
  • Clean and Press:
    • 60 lb x 5 reps (+103 pts)
    • 60 lb x 5 reps (+103 pts)
    • 60 lb x 5 reps (+103 pts)
  • Barbell Deadlift:
    • 60 lb x 5 reps (+51 pts)
    • 60 lb x 5 reps (+51 pts)
    • 60 lb x 5 reps (+51 pts)
  • Plank:
    • 45 sec (+20 pts)
    • 45 sec (+20 pts)

Iron Manicure

4 Feb

Iron manicure

I think my knitting friends are equally split between the Iron Maidens and the Polish Peeps. Because I am such a joiner, I have allowed myself to dip a toe into the ocean of polish obsession, and now I’m on a quest to find a polish that will withstand the rigors of knitting, lifting, and toddler wrangling. I’m such an awful manicurist that I want something that’ll last through at least five days and three workouts. Bonus points will be awarded to any polish that can make it through a big lift day without falling to pieces.

I have high standards for someone who can’t even slap on nail polish without getting it on her elbows. I’m hoping this’ll change as time progresses. There is no way in hell I can afford a weekly professional manicure. It’s me or nothing. Leave your pro tips in the comments.

The first candidate in the Iron Manicure is butter London in Royal Navy. I managed to get on two coats and a coat of Sally Hanson Mega Shine while the H Bomb was having breakfast. I’ll check in on Friday with results, but I’m hopeful.

Do you have a favorite polish? I’m going to work through my surprising large (for me) collection before branching out, but I will take requests. Anyone?

February 4

  • Barbell Squat:
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)
  • Dumbbell Lunges:
    • 15 lb x 20 reps (+90 pts)
    • 15 lb x 20 reps (+90 pts)
    • 15 lb x 20 reps (+90 pts)

Depression Lies

30 Jan

Depression lies

The chemistry’s off in my brain again.

I could insert the back story boiler plate of my depression woes, but it’s the same as any other white woman whining about this particular first world problem. It hit in my teens, I got it under control in my twenties, yadda, yadda, found myself knocked up and BOOM! Postpartum depression and a Zoloft script.

(I also have back story boiler plates on body hate, disordered eating, and the futility of existence as an office drone. I’ll try not to unleash any of them on you, either.)

Depression is a cunning summbitch. Insidious, you might say, like a Sith Lord pretending to be the kindly old senator, or that Beetlejuice joke in Community, but not nearly as clever. It sneaks up on me, slipping in through the cracks, wraps its gossamer tendrils of sadness and woe around me and it takes me far too long to realize I’m trapped again.

My shrink is a pill pusher. I pop in quarterly, he asks me if I’m still breastfeeding, I tell him yes, he makes a disapproving noise and runs another prescription for the Zoloft through his printer.

My therapist is taking an extended maternity leave to cope with her own PPD. If you want guilt, realize that you came to her with your woes of a baby-broken brain riiiiiiiight about the time her IVF was successful.

Whoops.

My depression, my pet, is at it again. It has me believing that there’s no point in getting up, that I’m a horrible, unloving mother, that lifting weights is too hard and that cookies and jewelry and ugly shoes will fill the gaping hole in my soul. My depression is the reason why I have six socks in various stages of completion and why I haven’t had a finished project in ages. My depression is why I haven’t opened up the weight box in a week.

I loathe my depression. It blows the proverbial goat. The only way I will fucking vanquish it with exercise, sunshine, real food, activities with friends and loved ones and my brain’s continued chemical marinade.

It’s another piece of this puzzle. Like trying to break the 200 pound deadlift, it’s just going to take time. There are no easy fixes, just hard work.

I can do that.

January 30 Workout

  • Standing Military Press:
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
  • Barbell Floor Press:
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
  • Barbell Deadlift:
    • 90 lb x 5 reps (+63 pts)
    • 90 lb x 5 reps (+63 pts)
    • 90 lb x 5 reps (+63 pts)
    • 120 lb x 5 reps (+77 pts)
    • 120 lb x 5 reps (+77 pts)
    • 120 lb x 5 reps (+77 pts)

I am just a schlubby mom

24 Jan

I took a looooooong rest period to get my head focused. When I came back today, I did my absolute FAVORITE workout. I call it the 30×3. Thirty pounds of weight, three sets of ten reps. AWESOME.

(With some 90 pound deadlifts thrown in for joy.)

  • Standing Military Press:
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
  • Barbell Floor Press:
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
    • 30 lb x 10 reps (+37 pts)
  • Dumbbell Squat:
    • 15 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)
    • 15 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)
    • 15 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)
  • Dumbbell Lunges:
    • 15 lb x 20 reps (+90 pts)
    • 15 lb x 20 reps (+90 pts)
    • 15 lb x 20 reps (+90 pts)
  • Barbell Deadlift:
    • 90 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
    • 90 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)
    • 90 lb x 10 reps (+74 pts)

Balance

18 Jan

It’s almost impossible to silence that inner overachieving A-student, the one who desperately needs approval, a gold star, and recognition for being the Greatest, Most Special Snowflake in Homeroom. If I could figure out a way to duct tape her mouth shut and run her through some reprogramming, I would. Instead, she maintains residence in my brainmeats, and is just a bitch to live with.

Yesterday, I tried and failed to pick up 180 pounds. I got it up to one deadlift, but it was horrible, spine wrenching form. While 160 pounds came off the ground, it was still on the edge of too heavy.

The inner goodie-goodie totally lost her shit. From a tweet I sent a friend:

Like, “I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOUR MONTHS, WHY HAVEN’T I BROKEN 200 POUNDS YET?”

Exactly, Inner Goodie Goodie. If I’m not breaking personal records with every workout, how will I ever be recognized as being good?

What a fucking head space to be in. It’s juvenile, unsustainable and dangerous. Building strength requires dedication and discipline, not temper tantrums. Tantrums are the short cut to injury and losing interest.

This is where a supportive community comes in handy. My group of iron maidens rallied. They reminded me that it ain’t a competition. They made me laugh. They told me they’d been there, too. I might workout in the isolation of my own home, but I cannot underscore how important it is to have a community of like-minded folks to stay the course of sanity.

Thanks, guys.

Flip Side

16 Jan

Last post, I unleashed the hubris. Today’s the flip side.

I am not cut from the same cloth as Kanye West, nor am I pieced together from the remnants of the knock-off cloth, so there is no way I can keep my personal hype up 24/7. Oh, sweet baby Isaac Newton. Just the idea of trying to keep the awesome up exhausts me.

I try to stay on the “Fuck you, I’m awesome” end of the continuum, but there are days when I swing to the other end. I hate the other end. It usually means I’m crumpled in a ball somewhere, whimpering and covered in my own face goo.

Straight up, this week has seen me spend more time on the face goo end of things. Lots of data points for my experiment. There were brownies. I didn’t separate the sleeves on my sweater, and then the Blazer of Failure happened.

My inlaws, wonderful people they are, gave me a very generous gift card to the Gap/Old Navy. While cruising around, I ran across a super cute blazer at the Gap. Did I check the fit reviews? No. Did I see that a lot of consumers were super unhappy with it? Nope. All I saw was “SALE” and “TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 25% OFF.” I ordered the Extra Huge Whale size, just in case, with grand plans of taking it to a tailor to have it fitted.

You know where this is going. When it showed up four days later, it mocked my hubris. I couldn’t button it across my belly, and the shoulders and sleeves were tight. Did I filter these facts through my current situation? Did I remind myself that I can hoist massive amounts of weight and used that belly to house the kid before she was ready to come into the world? Oh, hell no. I saw the size (Extra Huge Whale), saw the bad fit and spiraled.

It was only later, when I was in a slightly better head space, that I saw the reviews that said “NOT TRUE TO SIZE.”

Data point: ALWAYS CHECK THE ONLINE REVIEWS BEFORE BUYING.

The fallout continues, though. I’ve put my sweater project away for the time being. I’ve tried not to look too hard at myself in the mirror or photographs. I hate how I look. It’s a fucking rough road; I need to claw my way back to awesome.

Week 3 Goals

  • Four workouts
  • Three attempts at yoga
  • Keep banging away on the low carb bandwagon

Hubris

14 Jan

I’ve been pretty candid that I am a heavyset woman. If I was honest on the “what body shape are you?” quiz, I’d select “Paleolithic Fertility Idol.” Floppy boobs, big ol’ belly, tree trunk thighs, and hips made to populate the world — that’s me, the Share-a-Size Sarah. And boy howdy, I’m awesome.misslascaux

I should back up a little bit.

In the months that I’ve been getting into lifting, I’ve run into one really off-putting attitude. It goes, “I don’t want to look like you.” It’s usually said with a sneer by someone who would have to decamp to the couch and mainline straight HFCS for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a year to even scrape the edge of my size. It’s an attitude that walks hand-in-hand with “I don’t lift weights, because muscles are masculine.” When pressed, the person who doesn’t want to look like me explains that women who lift weights are either super fat and ugly because they’ve bulked up, or are scary orange and veiny, because they’re participating in body building competitions. Either way, lifting weight will result in a totally gross body.

It’s so cloyingly sweet the way ignorance cavorts with body shaming, isn’t it? Also, I love how some folks have no shame telling me to my face that looking like me would be the absolute lowest point of their lives.

Well, fuck you, I’m awesome.

Hey, I get it. I do. It’s an image-conscious, image-driven society. Every January, millions flock to health clubs and gyms with the goal of going from Before to After. Everyone knows that After is what it’s all about — because After gets tagged with “Happily Ever.” Who doesn’t want to be happy? So get with the program. Get on the elliptical. Eat fake food and do penance for not being pretty. Pay out the nose to have program after program fail because genetics plays a big damn roll in a gym perfect body. Suffer and never enjoy life and living until that goal weight has been achieved.

But here’s the thing: this is the happiest I’ve been in my life. I was telling the Captain the other day that it’s a pretty simple equation: Deadlifts + Adequate Sleep + Baby Snuggles = Joy. Who’s going to turn down joy?

There are so many benefits to the lifting besides the satisfaction of moving heavy weight up and down. I’m building a strong body so I can lug a toddler around town. I’m beating my family history of osteoporosis into submission. I’m impressing Target cashiers with my ability to tote the big box of cat litter with one hand. I’m giving DudeBros the side eye.

Yeah, I’m the Paleolithic Pin-up Girl living in the twenty-first century and loving it. Fuck the haters. I’m awesome.

January 13 Workout

  • Clean and Press:
    • 60 lb x 10 reps (+122 pts)
  • Barbell Deadlift:
    • 80 lb x 10 reps (+69 pts)
    • 135 lb x 10 reps (+101 pts)
    • 155 lb x 3 reps (+78 pts)
    • 155 lb x 10 reps (+115 pts)
  • Clean:
    • 80 lb x 10 reps (+66 pts)
  • Leg Press:
    • 120 lb x 10 reps (+27 pts)
  • Cable Seated Lateral Raise:
    • 80 lb x 10 reps (+17 pts)
    • 80 lb x 10 reps (+17 pts)
  • Plank:
    • 45 sec (+20 pts)
    • 35 sec (+15 pts)
    • 30 sec (+13 pts)
    • 30 sec (+13 pts)
    • 30 sec (+13 pts)
  • Barbell Squat:
    • 60 lb x 10 reps (+61 pts)