It’ official…I am more than halfway through my very first try at a customized 12 week program. Time is just flying by, but I need to take a minute to reflect on everything I’ve accomplished in the last 7 weeks. First of all, I have enjoyed every minute of every workout.   I never would have imagined I would have so much fun kicking my own ass. I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever have before, I’m lifting heavier weight than I ever thought I could and I feel stronger than I have ever felt. Being so sore it’s difficult to sit, stand, walk or lift my arms is pretty commonplace the last few weeks and I love it! 

Now for the downside. I probably shouldn’t call it a downside, because it has nothing to do with the my workouts or level of success I associate with my progress, it has more to do with the perception I have of my body and my weight. Yes, the number on the scale has increased a couple pounds. Yes, I know I should follow what I preach and stop weighing myself. Yes, I know that muscle weighs more than fat. And yes, damnit, I know I should stop whining and share with the world photos of my progress. The fact is, I’m still not able to turn off that switch that says I have to weigh under a certain number to be beautiful or sexy or whatever; I’ve got one of those dimmer switches instead of the standard on/off switch I guess. haha. It’s frustrating! Some days I am fine and other days I start to feel down on myself for gaining weight.  Does anyone else have this problem? If you do, share your thoughts and maybe we can help keep each other on the right mental track!

My brain is a work in progress, but I will not give up. I will overcome this negative body image thing I have going on and I will focus all my attention on the strength I am gaining, not the number of pounds I weigh. (Note to self: Repeat this in your head over and over again until you actually believe it.

 Moving on to more positive reflections…I made sure to change up my workouts every two weeks to keep things interesting. I still do all the same basic movements, but I throw in some supersets and drop sets to up the intensity; and I add more weight of course. One of my favorite, most difficult, ass kicking sessions was the first leg day of week 7. I thought I might collapse walking up the four measly steps leading back into our house. It’s too good not to share, so I’ve listed it below. First, I might need to go over a couple terms: superset and drop sets. 

Superset: moving from one exercise to the next without a rest break.

Drop Set: decreasing the amount of weight used after each subsequent set. (Ex. For set 1 use 135 lbs, set 2 use 130 lbs, set 3 use 125 lbs…and so on.)

Killer Leg Day

If you do this workout right, you will have trouble walking immediately afterwards!

I have one more week of some intense muscle building to knock out and then it’s on to carb cycling (ugh) and HIIT (yay!) This means my goal will no longer be to build muscle. I finally get to move on to burning off my jiggly, self-confidence killing blubber that I can’t help but dwell on! I can’t wait. 

Now I think I have put this off as long as a I can…my progress photos. Yuck. As much as I truly despise taking pictures of myself, I know how important these photos are when gauging progress. If you are not taking photos of yourself regularly, as awkward and silly as you may feel snapping countless photos of yourself, you really should just bite the bullet and start clicking away at least once a month. You will thank yourself later. You couldn’t get a camera in the same room with me a year ago when I started this fitness journey (I hate that cliche!), but once I dropped 30 lbs, I really wished I had broken down that wall of shame and taken a damn photo! Lesson learned. 

So here they, reluctantly, are…

I’m really looking forward to the next six weeks. I’m anxious to see what I will look like after another intense cutting phase. Maybe I’ll finally get to see an ab muscle or two! haha. We shall see. 

Go To: Recap Week 8 – 9

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