The grind continues! My job as a bodybuilder right now is to get bigger and stronger. This isn’t the glamorous part – but this is the most important part.
The first few months after my last competition were all about recovery and healing. Most people don’t really think about weight loss as “tissue loss”, but that’s exactly what happens. Fat is tissue. But so is everything else – muscle, tendons, ligaments, bones, organs…all tissues that may be damaged a little by a long bout of dieting.
Many bodybuilders get hurt in the months after a competition season because they don’t give themselves time and calories to recover.
However, I gained more weight than I was supposed to. I’m about 40 lbs over stage right now. I know there are “hard-core-I-stay-lean” competitors reading this right now who might be judging my process, so it is hard for me to admit that I lost control a little. And as a former fat person, I’ve got mixed feelings about that. I’m a little embarrassed.
I remind myself that I was cutting hard for the better part of two years and I’ve been “in control” for nine years. I needed time to replace all kinds of tissue and I NEEDED a psychological break from the nutrition precision. It was also important to be able to relax and enjoy the holidays and my birthday with my husband.
That said – some of that 40 lbs is muscle. 🙂
No idea how much and I don’t really want to check just yet. I’m enjoying my psychological break from caring.
So my data has to be based on what I see, how I feel, and gym performance.
My calculated bench press PR jumped up 20 lbs in 8 weeks! I think I mentioned that before. Still getting stronger. Not testing again for about a month.
All upper body is growing. Back is growing. Glutes are growing. Quads – I don’t know. Been having some issues with knee pain, so I’ve been careful with my leg work. I’m not injured – I think it’s the beginning of arthritis. I’m 56 and have been lifting for almost 8 years, so I expected the joints to age a bit.
Started a mini cut this week just because I’m not comfortable being this heavy. Clothes don’t fit and I don’t have a lot of endurance. Weight isn’t great for the knees and feet, either. The plan is to cut what I can until mid-June. Over the next year, it’s important that I spend most of the time NOT in a calorie deficit.
I am in the body-building phase for about another year. Next competition season will be 2020. Not sure which shows. Just know I don’t want to compete next year. Big plans for 2018-2019, though!
In other news...
Still working every day on building my new online tutoring business. I’ve been making a lot of progress with website improvements, content creation, and social media marketing. The learning curve is steep. It’s also a bit weird to be an “unknown” in the world for the thing I’ve been doing for over 20 years. Need to create an “online presence” as the business coaches say.
Regardless, I’m a good teacher and I enjoy teaching math to teenagers – which is a niche. When I’m working with kids online, it is amazingly fun. A…MAY…ZING!!
I’m really excited to be able to do this thing I enjoy in private practice – to focus on teaching and doing it on my own terms.
(Schools do the best they can under some less-than-optimal conditions, so I don’t want to sound like I’m biting the hand that feeds me. Over time, my philosophy about math instruction has changed. I truly believe big classes are NOT the best way for teens to learn math. Until schools can find a way to individualize, parents need to learn about the new options that are out there. I know it was eye-opening for me!)
Just in case you might be interested, a second business, one that is fitness-related, is in the works and should be ready to be launched by the end of the year.
And there is that book I was supposed to write a couple years ago…
And then there’s this…
I spent a few months volunteering time to train a woman involved with the Rise and Grind program at my gym. This program helps women recovering from addiction with regular exercise and nutrition.
For those of us who used the same approach to transform our own lives, this just makes sense. But it’s so much more important considering the battle they wage – they aren’t just trying to get healthier – they are tearing away from dysfunction and recreating their lives. The courage it takes to do that is impressive. Remember how it felt to walk into a gym the first time? Intimidating, right? Now imagine what it must be like for one of these women. It was humbling for me to participate as little as I did.
Please consider treating yourself to one of their t-shirts or hoodies. I love mine! The fabric is light and soft. The logo is badass!
Contact Grant Denton (modeling his program’s new hoodies below) directly by visiting the Facebook page, @RiseandGrindReno. If you do, will you do me a favor and let them know I sent you? I’d like the Rise and Grind ladies to feel the LMS love and support – like HUGE bear hug! Thank you!