On Doing Your Own Thing
I spent the weekend with one of my best friends - a woman my age (late 20’s) who takes her fitness very seriously. She does everything “right” - eats clean consistently, hits the gym 5x/week, drinks all the water - and has lost a ton of fat, gained piles of muscle, and looks, feels and performs better than she has in her life.
We went up to her cottage to play Chinese checkers and bake protein muffins and talk. And she asked me two questions:
What’s a macro?
Our friendship is a “judgement-free zone”, so my response was to simply explain both. But really? I was jealous. Like, sinking-feeling, incredulous, wide-eyed, take-deep-breaths kind of jealous. The respect and affection and admiration we have for each other is mutual; we both think the other is the shit. But Jesus. I’m calculating macros in the back of my mind every day and have been for years, despite multiple attempts to stop in the name of “balance”. I see Crossfit references everywhere, ranging from respectful recommendations to bombardments of “WE'RE BETTER THAN YOU”. I am constantly questioning my program, my nutrition, my goals, my results, myself. And of course she worries and reflects and adjusts as we all do, but this was a jarring reminder that there are so many different paths to health and happiness, and where I check in on other people’s progress and activities every day (through friends, this blog, etc.), she’s done this all on her own. How much more fulfilled, satisfied, and in-tune with her own body must she be as a result of not comparing herself to anyone else? Sure, she has a pinterest board populated with figure competitors for “motivation”, but at the end of the day, how she feels is most important to her, and she feels way better than I do.
I want to be more like her, but is that just me comparing myself to others again?
People ask me for fitness advice, and what I tell them is always within the context of self-love. Fuel your body. Listen to what it needs. Focus on what you can do rather than how you look. Work hard toward your goals while taking pride in how great you already are. Because you are great - in so many ways that have nothing to do with your body fat %.
I need to start taking my own advice.
Basically, whenever I’m in a hurry or too distracted / busy / tired to figure out how best to use my time at the gym, I just pick a big exercise and do 100 reps.
Usually takes about 30min, it’s surprisingly difficult, and it ensures that my body never knows what to expect.
Today, 100 deadlifts at 135lbs. Boom.
Just one rep, and the trainer doing front squats next to me winced and commented that it looked “rough”, lol. I don’t quite remember (because 255lbs) but I think I replied “It’s fucking heavy!”
Whatever I said, he laughed, and then shared some really interesting insight about deadlifts as a hamstring/glute exercise with back muscles working only as stabilizers, and helped me do a couple of sets at my warm-up weight (135) with a focus on exploding up, using my hips for momentum. Apparently this will help train the higher weights.
New perspectives are always good.
So are 4-figure scores on fitocracy. just sayin’.
This is my go-to, no-brainer, 30min routine for when work is crushing me and my regularly scheduled workouts keep getting pushed back and back and back. Too tired to analyze anymore data, too tired to write anymore reports. Either watch TV before bed, or do goddamn thrusters. Tonight, I chose the latter.
"Do something today that you’ll thank yourself for tomorrow."
Not gonna lie; I may have thanked myself for watching DWTS, too.
Going to post in detail about my squats sometime soon. Lots to tell.
But for now - huge deadlift PR today: 245lbs! Felt like I was going to pass out after 1 rep, but that’s enough for me :)
2,200 calories today - nice little surplus to refuel. Back to the 1,800 range tomorrow.