I am unbelievably sore today,which isn’t surprising when I remind myself that I did 450 push ups and 450 v- sits Sunday evening and then a whole grip more arm jammers on Monday. At least I’m laughing with the discomfort. Which hurts too, by the way. Ha.
Today was bitterly cold and instead of heading out like I should have done and gotten in some form of active recovery, I sat inside, drank coffee and saw to some long overdue clerical work I had been putting off. Truth be told, it would have been entirely possible for me to do something pseudo active indoors and I can virtually hear my trainers voice reminding me of this but,hey, I got some good work done anyway. I’ll foam roll tonight before bed. Promise. (yowch!)
Yesterday I mentioned a discussion I had with my trainer,Michael, about my diet and how it affects my performance. It was spurred by a workout session in which I was to do a long series of back squats, which I normally do quite well at. But that day found me really struggling to do them well and Michael repeatedly had to remind me to go “parallel”, which is basically going the full depth of the squat and completing it honestly. I gritted my teeth and groaned and at one point almost dropped the bar when returning it to the rack. Afterward, Michael came up to me and quietly asked, out of earshot of Damon, what I had eaten that morning. “two eggs.” was my answer, same as every morning. “and yesterday?”, he pressed. I knew the answer down to the numbers because I had added up the calories to put in my workout log, along with what I had done for recovery, my supplements,etc. “Oh. I think I ended the day with like about 650…”, I sheepishly replied. I knew it was on the low end but I somehow did not anticipate his shocked response. “650?! Are you serious?” I stammered and tried to explain that it wasn’t intentional and that I don’t normally eat so little, although admittedly I have always been an obsessive calorie counter despite my best efforts to break this habit. I had gained weight ( or at least perceived that I had anyway) after the holidays indulgences and had been being very restrictive with my choices of food equaling Little natural sugars, high protein, low carbohydrates and absolutely no “cheat days”. While I wasn’t intentionally counting, I definitely ended low most days. “No wonder. Squats? You can do squats, Jen. But if you’re eating less than half of what you’re supposed to, you’re not going to be able to do anything. Stop counting, Jen. Just eat. Your system is probably so screwed up right now, you’re lucky you don’t end up looking like a pear. Just eat and I promise it will all work out.”
He then set us on the task of finishing our workout of 100 push ups. Walking out the front door of the gym, he said, ” I’ll be right back, I’m going next door.” when he returned, we were finished and he called me over to him. He was standing next to another trainer, who I’m sure had overheard the irritated words spoken earlier to me. Michael handed me a large plastic bottle of chocolate milk and said, ” I have homework for you. This is full fat chocolate milk. It has 850 calories in it. You are going to drink all of it today.” I started to ask him a question and he cut me off, knowing what I was going to say and answering it,” AND eat normally. I’m serious, Jen. Cut it out. Stop.counting.”
It was so embarrassing. I didn’t want him to think of me as a girl with an eating disorder. I felt awful about it and yet, my chest felt tight at the thought of drinking that sugary, thick mess of milk, which told me that’s exactly why I should. And I did. Long story shorter, I finished the milk and I felt all emotional about it. It literally made me teary eyed and I sent him a text thanking him for his concern and apologizing for being so obsessive. “if you told me to drink four of these a day, I would. Because I trust you.” His response made me cry. “Good work. Let loose a little. You won’t get better eating like a vegan runway model,eat like you want to be…like a fucking monster.”
Absolutely. Those words made immediate and total sense to me then and still inspire me to eat now. I don’t want to be bony and tiny. I want to be strong and hard. I want to be a T-Rex. Well…a T-Rex with substantially stronger arms.😉 So now its a yam and egg breakfast and full, beefy meals during the day. I eat even if I’m not hungry, because I know I should and because right now I am learning to identify hunger signals instead of ignoring and suppressing them like I had taught myself to do all the years ago. I’m not alone in that practice, by the way. How many times have you read in a fitness journal or in a different magazine or on Dr. Oz or whatever show to fill your belly with water or take a walk to forget hunger “cravings”? Every girl knows about “negative calorie foods” and the calories in, calories out mantra is all too familiar.
Anyway, since then, I’ve noticed dramatic change in my body. I’m developing more muscle and my waistline is trim. My butt is shapely and firm. I’m actually proud of it! Can you believe that? So, to be clear, eating MORE food has made me more attractive than when I carefully portioned out each meal. “Food” being yams, veggies, pasture raised eggs, pastured beef and chicken, avocado, tuna, light amounts of nuts and usually at least one piece of fruit, like pear or a seasonal blood orange. There’s no McCrapper with cheese in this mix.😉
Anyway, so there’s the diet spanking I received. I thought I was such a careful eater. I was soooooo Paleo. But I was underfed and it was holding me back. Now I’m fueled up and ready to kick some major ass. Goals are going to be met. Personal records will be broken. Lemme at it. “RAWWWWR!”