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Monday, February 24, 2014

i can't get no...

Wanna hear something hilarious (or sad, or possibly both--I dunno, my hilarious-meter is probably broken)? I wrote my blog title and then I thought, well, of course we need to stick a picture of Jagger on top, so off to google image search I went. Typed in "Mick Jagger abs", perused the results--most of which had nothing to do with Mack Jagger's abs (you're slipping, google image search!), clicked on the best one...and it was from this blog.  Oh goodness. I know exactly which post I used it in too. I decided y'all deserved more than recycled content, so I picked the second best result above. You're welcome. Or, I'm sorry. Whatever.

Onto actual content. Here we go. Satisfaction! And lack thereof.

I told you guys I'm doing that body transformation contest, just as a way to get back on track with my fitness. In a lot of ways it's been working.  I've lifted at least 4x a week every week of the contest except one (where I missed *one* workout due to the gym being closed two days for renovations coupled with a snowstorm later in the week.)  I've been faithfully taking my lunch and snacks to work with me so I don't just buy and eat crap.  I've been getting in 3-4 servings of veggies and fruits every single day.  I've even been back to yoga a few times, though I really would like to improve on that still. I wanted to go at least once a week and that hasn't happened. But, still, on the whole I've been happy with my return to better health and fitness habits.

You know what I haven't been happy about? My results. Despite assiduously eating in a deficit, my weight hasn't budged much. It just bounces all over the place and I never know what the Random Number Generating Machine is gonna say on the days I decide to step on it.  My ability to retain water like a camel, the fact that my bathroom habits are not what one would call regular despite all the quest bars I eat, and my on and off use of creatine all conspire to make it that I never know exactly what I actually weigh, but the number hasn't been encouraging of late. Fine. So I stopped weighing myself. I took solace in that fact that my bicep vein was back, my upper pecs were getting prominent in the gym mirror again, and the fit of certain clothes as markers that I am losing fat. If I'm gonna exist on these poverty calories and pretty much give up beer for 12 weeks, I better be losing fat, okay?

Then I decided to take some midway-through-the-contest pictures, in the same bathing suit I took my horrible, bloated "before" pics in.

Let's just say I was not impressed.

Pretty sure that was exactly my expression.

Damn, I thought, I looked so much better last spring and early summer at more or less this same weight. Leaner, more muscular, tighter, more vascular. Just better. I walked around in that very same bathing suit all June and July at the outdoor pool at the Fancy-Pants Y, totally un-self-conscious, and indeed, pleased when I caught a glimpse in the locker room mirror.

Then I re-thought.  Yes, I undoubtedly gained fat and lost muscle in the 6 months that I was working two jobs and was not eating, exercising, or resting properly.  That is true.  But did I truly look THAT much better last year when I was feeling all smug and happy about my physique?  Or is it that I looked a tiny bit better but was also not swanning around taking underwear/bathing suit selfies and examining them for flaws?

Also pretty sure I know the answer to that, kids.

I had put a moratorium on "progress pics" until this contest made me take them.  I'm committed to final pictures but then the moratorium is back on.  Yeah, I'll still snap a gym or bathroom selfie when a rogue muscle or vein makes an unexpected appearance and I'm like, WHOA. But I'm not gonna set up the camera self timer and examine my flaws from every angle. No good comes from that, at least for me.



  1. Oh crap, I was SURE I'd said something here earlier, but must have been in my own head, the whole imagination vs reality thing is sometimes a challenge!

    But anyway, I can so relate to the whole effort not lining up with results problem; sometimes it seems like the harder you try, the less it makes a difference. But then slacking only makes it worse... harumph.

    But then every now and then the laws of physics apply again, and things get sort of "normal." I can't figure any of it out myself!

  2. I'm glad it's not just me, Crabby. Though I don't wish frustration on anyone.

    Truth in advertising, I *finally* shifted at the end of last week. My weight went down and stayed down and a bunch o' fat seemed to magically melt off my legs. No idea how that happened, but with 4 weeks left in the contest, I am now somewhat heartened that my after pictures might actually look different from the befores.