Don’t think, Do.

I never should have stepped on the scale. Sure, I was probably the only woman at the fitness center who whooped with excitement because I was up 10 pounds. However, now outcome measures are on my mind again. The spring semester has been a dumpster fire. I knew it would be a dumpster fire and vowed to not watch what I ate because there was no way in Hell I could keep up with Any More Things, especially things that trigger feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and shame. No measuring anything, no watching anything. Nada. I pretty happy lifting three times a week, playing around with being sore, and tending to the dumpster fire.

Then, out of curiosity, the scale. The number didn’t matter, right? Just step on. Just once. It won’t hurt. Dammit to Hell, it may as well have been an apple offered to me by an old woman in the forest. Up ten (10) pounds. Whoa. Seriously? The program was working? Hypertrophy is a real thing. My clothes were fitting better, so this stuff wasn’t fat. Next time in the garage, I realized the last time I wore this t-shirt, it was tight to my skin. Now it’s hanging. I started wondering about fat loss again in an unhelpful, unstructured way. The reason the hypertrophy program worked was I didn’t think about it. Show up, lift stuff, talk too much, go home, soak. Repeat. My coach did his job. The program works. Thinking is what got me into this mess. Don’t think. Do. Let him do his job.

The program changed two weeks ago. Out of hypertrophy and on to strength because of the powerlifting meet in Atlanta in June. Because of strange Spring Break schedules, we lifted Mon-Tue-Wed and played around doing each lift each day, with variations and different loading schemes. It’s not social work, outside my scope of practice, don’t ask me for specifics, we’re playing around trying to figure out how to nudge my body into doing its thing. Thursday I woke up feeling perfect. Straight up perfect. A little sore here, some extra awareness there, but perfect. This is how I want to wake up every day and I’m sad because no lifting until next Monday.

This is the Spotify playlist I lifted to on Wednesday. It’s not a traditional gym-rat, bass-heavy, drive a woman through her last rep kind of playlist. It’s full of love and grief and joy and passion. When I had athletes, it was important to me they understand their own path to peak performance. Everyone has a different optimal arousal level. Self-awareness, folks. Because this is my fucking blog and I can drop the f-bomb and have my hair be blue, the link to Vaynerchuk again –

I do my best work laughing. Not thinking. Unproductive thinking is a performance killer.

This one makes me thoughtful.

Eminem. I don’t even know. It’s Eminem.

I have never loved a darker blue, than the darkness I have known in you…

Sleep. Lift. Eat mostly veggies to appetite when hungry. Sleep. Bring it down. It was so hard Thursday to resist grasping at that feeling. It had been a long time. I will feel that way again. No need to grasp. Do, just do.

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What’s Holding You Back?

Sunlight Falling On Wooden Fence

Yesterday I had a conversation with a client. There are goals he wants to achieve, he has solid reasons for working toward those goals, and every day it falls apart in the noise of day-to-day life.

“What’s holding you back?” I asked.

“Me.”

“Ah.” He’s flips between insight and haze, like all of us. He knows what he has to do to get the thing he wants, which leads to the larger goal. He’s smart like that. “Can you go 30 days without [the thing]? Just 30 days?” I ask. At this point my own issues are peeking over the therapeutic fence. Could I go 30 days without my thing? There are goals I want to achieve, solid reasons for working toward those goals, and every day it falls apart in the noise of day-to-day life. Then comes the judgement call. Is this one of those points where I draw the parallel out loud, do the self-disclosure, and see where it takes us?

Yep. On the day before Thanksgiving, I committed to 30 days without processed carbohydrates. On one hand, I didn’t think this through. I am making pies today. However, I have eaten cake, fancy coffees, breads, chips, and french fries in the last few weeks. Pies are not that special this month.

Isn’t that the problem? Today is special because I don’t feel well, I feel great, I’m mourning, I’m celebrating, I’m anxious, I’m not anxious. Just like my client.

Today is Day 1.

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