Week 1 #100kreasons Review

It’s January 20th and I’m starting Week 2 of the Dymatize Nutrition #100kreasons transformation challenge! So far going strong, which doesn’t really surprise me because I’ve basically been continuing my workouts with the same intensity as I was doing before … Continue reading

Time To Get The Ball Rolling!

I finally took my ‘before’ pictures for the Dymatize Nutrition 100K Transformation Challenge! For some reason, transformation challenges really inspire me. The last time I did one it really helped whip me into shape, and I made some very positive … Continue reading

‘Excuses’ Is My Middle Name

What has been the theme of my life for the past month and a half? Making excuses. Constant excuses. My shoulder is injured; I don’t have time to go the gym with all these RMT appointments; It’s my birthday; It’s my work Christmas party; It’s my friend’s Christmas party; another work Christmas party; it’s Christmas….blah blah blah blah… Long story, I basically gave up on diet and just ate and drank anything I wanted. Amazingly, I didn’t really put on much weight but I didn’t take any off either. I was still going to the gym and doing some light cardio, but that just helped me to be able to binge more. The best part was the Christmas break when my parent’s house was hit by the ice storm and we had no power for over 80 hours. I ate a lot of chips and cheese…When you are freezing cold the only thing that makes it feel better is lots and lots of fat! Luckily, the holidays are OVER and I have enough motivation from my ill-fitting clothing to get my butt back into gear.

Just in time, Bodybuilding.com gave me 100,000 reasons to shape up with their 12-week transformation challenge! The last time I did one of these I got really into it and got into the best shape I had been in in years. I plan to do the same thing this time. No more excuses, as hard as that is. I find that it is really had to make others understand why you are choosing not to eat and drink unhealthy things, and that makes being social really difficult, but in the end it is always worth it.

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Over the past week I have been much better with diet and the gym, and I’ve been trying to experiment with new healthy recipes. I haven’t seen any changes yet, and I probably need to be a lot more strict to see that happen. I’ve started using my SparkPeople account to track my calories again and that is definitely going to help. I’m not a huge fan of calorie counting, but it is useful to know what you are really consuming. I’m hoping that will help me to get a handle on my dieting issues again. I’m going to continue to experiment until January 13th when the contest begins, then it’s all seriousness all the time.

I hope you join me!

Weigh in Wednesday + Picture Update – Week 3

Weigh In Wednesday

It’s that day again, the moment of truth day, Weigh In Wednesday! I was really rushed last Wednesday and I didn’t really do a great job with my measurements, so this time I was a bit more careful. I experienced a few setbacks this week with regards to training, so I will be taking a completely different approach for the next few months, since I am serious about healing my injuries. That being said, I took my Saturday workout off, and added shoulders to my Monday workout, which was a HUGE eyeopening mistake, but it happened. I also skipped any exercise on Friday and Saturday, and did only Cardio and Abs on Sunday. Changes will be different for the next few months, since I am done with all arm workouts and back workouts for awhile.

Here are my measurement highlights of the week:

My weight has been hovering between 127 and 128 for the past week, and dipped slightly to 126.8 lbs today. Hopefully this will continue, but that remains to be seen, especially since I have my first cheat day on Saturday at my work Christmas Party, followed by my birthday on December 5th. Weight loss may be a little slower until the new year, but I have accepted that fact.

My body fat percentage has stayed the same at 22.1%, and I am receiving an 11mm result. I tried a few different measurement methods this weekend, using this calculator. It was a little weird, and I have decided to stick to my usual method because at least that way I can track the changes I have made easily. I was receiving measurements between 18-19%, and then one that was WAY out at 26%. So hey, nothing is really perfect.

My hips went from 36.5 inches to 36 inches this week! That is a huge win, especially since that has typically been my most difficult area to lose fat. Between my hips and my legs, I don’t know which is more of a challenge.

My waist dropped 0.25 inches, which is always great to see. My thighs also measured at 0.5 inches smaller this week. I will be keeping a huge eye on that. My calves measured 0.5 inches larger, so perhaps I measured in different spots? I didn’t work legs this week so I would be surprised to have made any gains.

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I also took pictures very quickly this morning. I find at this early stage of the game it is difficult to see large differences. I really only started to see changes between weeks 4-8 last time I did a transformation, and I did not allow cheat days or skipped workouts then, so I expect to see changes a bit later in the game this time around.

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Back Pain Getting You Down?

Injuries are a part of life, especially for those leading very active lifestyles. Injuries and bodybuilding seem to go hand in hand, a simple google search provides 1,970,000 search results for the keywords combined, which should be a clear sign that it can be a dangerous sport. I have certainly been injured, and am injured, and these injuries get me down. I tend to really freak out when I feel an abnormal amount of pain after a workout that is far from the usual pain of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). So what do we do when we get injured? One option is giving up bodybuilding temporarily, but this is an unhappy choice.

A few months ago I seriously injured the lower left side of my back doing squats on a smith machine. I had heard about how dangerous this was, but my gym did not have any other options for weighted squats, so I took my chances. It was an unusual day, because this usually empty workplace gym actually had someone who was doing their entire workout on the smith machine. I waited, and went through my entire hour long workout and she was still not done with the smith machine. So I alternated with her, and she was doing dead lifts. I am not sure if I injured my back on my squats, or lifting part of her dead lift weight back up to start my squats. Either way, my back is still painful five months later. I have temporarily fixed it with massage therapy, but it needs a lot more work. I was working around this injury, avoiding squats and dead lifts, and other exercises I wasn’t confident with. I recently started doing squats again and it has become slightly more painful as a result.

Last Thursday, I was doing my regular workout and I injured the middle of my back, in between my shoulder blades. I presume it was from the wide-grip lateral pulldowns, since when I complete this motion weightless, I feel a lot of pain. During the workout, I did not feel any pain, I felt nothing out of the ordinary. I did not even notice any back pain until two hours after I finished my workout, and the exercises that caused the pain were my second and third of the day! I skipped the gym and cardio on Friday and Saturday to give it a rest, and did only cardio on Sunday. I went back to my usual Chest/Tricep workout today and noticed something truly terrifying: I was a lot weaker than last week. Last week I was benching 65 pounds, 4 sets of 12. This week 6 reps was a serious struggle, and I was significantly weaker on the right side, almost dropping the bar. This, and a few similarly terrifying examples showed me that I clearly injured my back worse than I thought, and that it is more injured on the right side, which failed much faster in a few exercises.

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Needless to say, I am seriously concerned about this injury. I have 6 massage therapy appointments booked over the next month, which I am hoping will help work out the injury. If not, I will  have to start to visit a physiotherapist. Since I am still determined to get back into shape and live a healthy lifestyle, I am going to try to train around my injuries. I will likely remove all back exercises from my workouts, as well as squats. I have been looking into training around injuries and I found this excellent article on bodybuilding.com. I will definitely be reducing my weights and upping my reps, as this seems like a logical thing to do. I may also add more cardio, and focus more on burning fat rather than building muscle. It is definitely better to take things slowly rather than continue to train hard and end up unable to train for months. I am going to watch my injuries closely and see if they start to subside. Tomorrow is my first massage therapy appointment, and I will be checking with her to see if she suggests going to physio. Fingers crossed that things will get back to normal again soon!