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Saturday, July 9, 2011

eating a banana: the dieting mentality (+ bonus squat-a-rama)

Even when I was hardcore dieting last late spring and summer, I made the conscious decision to include treats into my eating on a regular basis. And by treats, I mean things that were not necessarily on my (low carb) plan, but which I felt were necessary to my mental well-being and my morale. Dark chocolate, seasonal fruit, and the one beer a week I would have on Wednesdays when I went out, savoring it in little tiny swallows so the one glass would last all evening. In addition, I would very occasionally have what might be termed, for lack of a better word, splurges. I would figure out what it was that I was really craving and really missing, plan when I was going to have it, then eat a small reasonable portion of it without feeling like I was cheating or being bad, and certainly without losing control.

After I reached and then exceeded my weight loss goal, I over time added more and more things back into my diet, some as treats, some as splurges, and some as just part of my regular food intake. But it occurred to me recently, in the midst of my struggling to bulk, that there were foods that I was still avoiding for no good reason other than my leftover dieting mentality. Take the humble banana. Nothing that I loved so much nor craved enough to justify to myself as a treat or splurge, but yet OMG! so high in calories! so full of sugar! If one is choosing fruit, it's A Bad Choice.

Except, no. If you aren't dieting, if you are in fact bulking, high in calories isn't a bug, it's a feature. Bananas are exactly the kind of thing you should be eating, especially if you're like me, and you don't have the hugest of all possible stomach capacities. So a couple weeks ago I started buying bananas again, and this week I actually ate two in one day. Just because, as a friend of mine likes to say, I can.

I had a wee little epiphany about this today. Trust me, my epiphanies are all minuscule, but I do get one once in a blue moon. Why am I still stuck in this dieting mentality even though I am fully committed now to growing muscle, which requires, y'know, eating? Well, kids, besides the fact that my culture endlessly bombards me (and you and everyone else) with the message that women are only always to be striving to be smaller and skinnier, there's the fact that every single weight loss plan and piece of weight loss advice in existence today preaches the same thing: it's not a diet, it's a Lifestyle Change. And you can't go back to How You Were Eating Before, or you'll wake up tomorrow and you'll be fat! The only way to not be fat is to deprive and restrict yourself forever. Obviously, I have internalized that. To the detriment of myself and, possibly, some farmers in the Honduras.

But, enough about that! Let's talk about what me n' Liz did at the gym last night. Not only did she critique my back squat (form's good, suckahs! going nice and low below parallel, back nice and straight) and teach me the rack pulls, we also did Bulgarian split squats

which made me wanna cry

and front squats, crossarmed, which is Liz's preference

I couldn't get the grip right like that, not stable enough. I could feel the bar roll. So I asked her to also teach me the other "regular" grip

That was easier and more comfortable for me, though Liz said I had the bar up too high and close to my neck. Dammit. Which once you start adding on real weight could, I suppose, kill you. Or something. Anyway, she said I should work on both and see which I prefer--they're both legitimate techniques. (Though if I don't do them her way, we can't be friends any more. Heh.)

Needless to say, though I'll say it anyway, with all the squat variations my legs were toast before I even left the Y. Good times!

And, finally, I tried hard this afternoon to take some starting-my-new-program "before" pictures, with me flexing, but I dunno. Me and the camera self-timer were not simpatico today and then my camera batteries were dying. I'ma try again later. But in the meanwhile, for those of you who are in solely for underwear pics--because everyone wants underwear pics of chicks pushing fifty, don't lie--here's the one semi-good picture I managed to take today, fake artsy cheesecake style. I hope the picture quality is indeed so horrible that you cannot see the enormous zit on my chin, which is a problem chicks pushing fifty should NOT have to deal with. (Perimenopause! It's like puberty! Only backwards!)

The bodymedia fit on my left arm makes it extra sexeh, doesn't it? Yeah, thought so.



  1. Mary Anne (Ms_Mac)July 9, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Love the blog! You look great in that pic!!!

  2. Thanks, Mary Anne! There's a reason you see actresses do that 3/4 turn thing on the red carpet; it's a ridiculously flattering camera angle ;-)

  3. Love the common sense approach to eting!
    That concave stomach! And you were only starting out? Can't wait to get through the archive!

  4. Your common sense to "eting" is probably awesome too, but not as awesome as that to "eating", which is really what I meant to say. Damn old eyes. Can barely figure out captcha and I have it zoomed at like hmmm 10X actual size. UGH