49 Weeks Out – Progress Pics of Room and Me


Jump start last week was fun.  I only had four 7th-graders.  It was a nice way to ease back into the routine.  I was able to make some progress getting the room pulled together.  I was too fixated on getting two bulletin boards recovered – the pink and red one.  This is likely not my final form for this board, but it’s OK.

My teacher meetings start tomorrow with my new colleagues.  I should be more ambitious – food needs to be prepped, laundry folded – but I’m writing and watching Hulu.  Holding onto my relaxed self while I still can.  Tomorrow is a rest day, so I have some time in the morning to pull meals together for the day.  We have meetings almost every day, meet and greet with parents one evening, I have to finish setting up the room, and do some lesson planning.  I’m starting from scratch with everything at this new school.  I’m sure I will be overwhelmed.  Yeah – chillin’ right now.  Calm before the storm, I suppose.

I got some good news last Friday!  Or at least I’m happy about it.  Got another DXA scan a couple days ago.  The last one was done back  in February after a mini-cut phase.  Two days after that DXA, my husband had his car accident.  (He is doing great, but there were a lot of life and financial complications that are on-going.)  And then I had to change jobs.  The last six months have been the most stressful period of my life since my mother died in 1990.  It was truly a test of my new life as a bodybuilder.  There were plenty of days when I didn’t want to workout.  I’ve only been at this for five years, so it would have been easy to slip back into my old ways.  I know I have a cortisol issue, so stress isn’t something I can take for granted.  I’ve had these DXAs done a couple times a year since 2011.  When under stress before, I’ve lost muscle and gained fat while lifting and doing cardio.  This time around, I’ve been avoiding cardio since that can be a cortisol trigger for me.  My plan was to eat enough to keep the muscle growing, but not so much that I would gain a ton, but I knew I’d gain some fat.  That’s how I work.  But I was still not sure what to expect.  It was entirely possible that I would gain fat and lose muscle again.

It looks like I’ve gained about a pound of lean mass and six pounds of fat since February.  I’m thrilled to have gained any lean mass at all considering the stress.  I expected about 5 pounds of fat, so that wasn’t a shock.  Not concerned.  I started biking to work this last week.  Between the biking and teaching on my feet all day, I should be able to create a sufficient caloric deficit without having to cut much food.  Meeting with my coach tomorrow – hoping for some big changes in the program.  Because I’m a bit fluffy, I’d like to start a cut and I really need a new lifting program.  Some things have worked very well, but other things are just frustrating and it would be nice to do something else.

Progress pics – this should be my most “fluffy” phase.  My picture from May is first, then today’s.  I am about 3 pounds heavier today than in the May pics.  I don’t see much difference, but I’m not good at judging my own progress.  I gained grams most places – that’s hard to see right now.  I only know that from the DXA scan.  I can’t flex fluff.


May 2014 / Aug 2014


Top: May / Bottom: August

Pictures like these stir up negative thoughts like mud from the bottom of a clear pond.  The best way for me to deal with it is to share the pics and move past it.  As uncomfortable as I feel physically, I believe I only need to lose 20-25 pounds over the next 11 months – and that’s not extreme at all.   I’m working with a coach who has the experience and perspective about making prep work with life that I need right now.  Just anxious to get started.



Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Cardio, Competing, Cortisol, Life, Teaching, Weight Loss

12 responses to “49 Weeks Out – Progress Pics of Room and Me

  1. Pat

    Great perspective, it sounds like you picked a good coach! Very encouraging I am about nine months out for my first competition. Losing 15lbs doesn’t scare as much as the 14% of body fat I will probably need to lose.


  2. Brenda

    Huge difference in your lats!!


  3. At least you’re expecting to be overwhelmed being at a new school. I was just talking with my mom about that today. It’s like being a first year teacher all over again in many ways. Only 4 students sounds like a great way to get back into the swing of things before the official school year starts. It’s amazing how you can juggle a challenging exercise program with all the stress. If you feel like you are not doing as well as you would like, things will probably smooth out after school gets going I’m just trying to keep my head above water with eating right and exercising among trying to figure out how to manage a whole new school and completely different demographic.


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