I finished The New Rules of Lifting for Women. As planned I skipped Stage 6. I was considering going back to it, but I tried one hanging exercise and the pain took over my entire elbow. I knew I wasn't ready for that yet.
The good news is I am back to my pre-surgery strength. I can do just as many pushups as I did prior to the health issues. I can deadlift and squat the same amount of weight. I may not have quite the amount of endurance I had when I was deeply involved with Lean Eating, but I'm getting there.
More good news is I am noticing some of my clothes are looser. I still can't wear some of my skirts or shorts from last year, but some of my tops are looser. I may have to give some of them away before the summer is over because they have become too big to stay on my torso properly. The dress Kevin bought me in Hawaii fit fine when we bought it back in February, but now it gaps and saps and shows my bra when I sit. It seems I am losing a bit in my chest and shoulders in spots the tape measure doesn't hit.
The bad news is the program did not make a lick of difference in my regular measurements, weight, or physical appearance. I still look terrible. I finally took the plunge and took all my measurements. I said I would finally give those stats on the blog when I was finished with TNROLFW. Here are the depressing numbers.
This is exactly where I was when I started the program!
Now that I'm finished with one program, I had to find a new one to work on.
After considering some options, I did decide to go with The Modern Woman's Guide to Strength Training put out by one of my favorite fitness website, Girls Gone Strong. I am hoping it works. There is a decent nutrition guide that comes with it (written by the same person who wrote the nutrition program for TNROLFW). I'm hoping I can stick to the principles it contains.
This program only lasts 16 weeks and then has a bonus program. There are 3 levels of programs, but as a fairly advanced lifter, I don't see a reason to do levels 1 and 2, so I'm starting on Level 3. This program was expensive for something that isn't going to last that long, and that's why I hope it does have some effects. I could have spent less money if I were willing to keep everything fully digital, but I don't want to take devices to the gym. I wanted some printed material.
I know my lack of progress has been due to my eating. I just can't seem to get back to a healthful eating rhythm. All too often I want to eat something I really enjoy rather than make the better choice. James Fell wrote about that in one of his books. He said we should eat food that is good, but not food that is delicious. We don't want to hate our food and be miserable, but often the tastiest food is the most fattening and it's the food we don't want to stop eating once we start.
It's easy to say you plan to eat nutritiously for the next year, or the next month, or even the next week. The hard part is eating nutritious food and making the best choices in the present. I may say, "I'm going to eat my vegetables, limit the refined starches, avoid sweets on a regular basis, and avoid fried foods for the next year," but then I'll say, "Right now I want a chocolate croissant." (I may also want a doughnut, a chocolate chip cookie, or some ice cream.) It's not about the well-thought-out meal plan I have for this week. It's about whether or not I can resist something delicious but fattening right now. When it comes to eating, the future is easy. Right now is the hard part.
Phase 9 will continue with my writing down my meals. Writing down does help give me a visual cue about all the inappropriate nibbles and snacks I take in. It reminds me that I'm not doing as well as I think I am in the food department.
The exercise will be as follows:
Sunday: AM MWGTST workout, PM Riding
Monday: Long outdoor walk (dance class over for the summer) or indoor Zumba session if weather is inclement
Tuesday: MWGTST Workout plus 10-15 minutes of interval cardio
Wednesday: 40 minutes steady state cardio on bike or elliptical
Thursday: MWGTST Workout plus 10-15 minutes of interval cardio
Friday: 40 minutes steady state cardio on bike or elliptical
Let's see how this goes. Less than one month until I have a swimsuit vacation. (I will put on a suit and enjoy swimming no matter how much weight I gain or lose.)