Reflecting on 2016, Preparing for 2017

I made a new years resolution for 2014 to get into shape/lose weight. I proceeded to start Insanity (honestly still can’t stand the name Tanya) that January and ended up just being 4 days shy of completing it when my computer crashed. I put my best foot forward and did what I could considering I was still living in residence and eating on a campus meal plan.

I came home that same year mortified to find out I weighed the most I had ever weighed in my entire somewhat overweight life.

I had gained nearly 25lbs in 8 months. I beat myself up for about half an hour and then I remembered that resolution I made back in December and told myself I would be completely stupid to not make the best of the remaining 7 months of 2013. I lost 40lbs by 2014.

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I share this time and time again because I want to remind people that:

1. New Years resolutions are not complete crap if they mean enough to you

2. Reaching your goals is literally never a linear process, and

3. Just because you are not reaping the benefits in the first 2 months of the year you still have 8,6,5 or 2 months left to make the most out of it and the “reward” will come in due time.

What did I want out of 2016?

My resolutions were to regain the strength I lost after I stopped doing deadlifts regularly for over a year, improve my squat form/depth, and continue benching. Basically I just needed to start focusing on lifting again and not whether I fit into my size 25 jeans from 2 years ago (from when I was 16% body fat, crying 5 times a week, perpetually cold and behaved like a miserable prick).

And so how did it go?

I fell off the wagon, I lost weight again.

You read that right.

Your wagon and my wagon may not be heading in the same direction, but neither has a seat belt. There is no guarantee you don’t fall off, no guarantee you don’t get hurt along the way.

I had a dream of moving up towards the big girl weights. Then I noticed my weight go up, I panicked, I restricted my food choices, I upped my cardio and continually poked at my belly until I was drowning in enough self loathing to keep me going for the day.

(Repeat that last paragraph about 5 times and that is what has become a perpetual cycle for me in the last 3 years since my major weight loss.)

BUT THERE’S A HAPPY ENDING GUYS I PROMISE.

I sat myself down and told myself to stop being a little b*tch. Excuse my choice of language but that’s really what happened. I got so sick and tired of my own excuses, it was time to decide on how I was going to make the changes I needed to make.

I saw that MegSquats (youtuber/social media influencer and USA powerlifter) was quitting her day job in order to pursue her own business in coaching/programming etc. So I thought, she needs some help in the form of $$, I need some help in the form of a slap across my face, this was perfect. I am very good staying disciplined once I have a plan of action, so I purchased her strength programming for something like 100 USD.

Could I have sat my butt down in a chair and created a powerlifting strength program for myself? Yeah. Except that sometimes you need to outsource because life is hectic enough. Also I’ve found that you will always trust the people who are already doing the things you want to be doing  and it may take a third party to give you that extra push.

Any-who, it’s the last week of December, I am on week 10 of my 12 week program. The closest I got to screwing up my progress was loading a 35lbs bar for nearly all my working sets and not going to lie almost threw a fit over it. I turned out fine, still progressing… you can all breathe easy now. I am testing my 1RM mid January and I can not tell you how excited this makes me.

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Light 8×4 with a weight I used to barely be able to complete a 5×5 with. Body weight around 133lbs, which is not a particularly lean weight for my frame, but loving life all the same. 

I have also gained about 7lbs and am loving all 7 of them. I am in a weight range right now that I haven’t been in since 2014 but I am so comfortable with it. I have my off days where I don’t feel 100% beautiful in my own skin, but less and less so as the weeks go on.

I am finally doing what I set out to do in the beginning of the year. I’ve fixed my depth in the squat, I have switched from conventional to sumo deadlifts which are much more comfortable for me, and my set up for bench is 50 million times stronger than it was at the beginning of the year.

It was nearly October when I cracked down on myself and that’s okay. I told you nothing will be linear, your progress doesn’t go perfectly from January to December. But you can indeed always pick yourself back up and go towards your goals.

*cue drum roll*

ELENA’S 2017 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS 

  1. Bench Press 135lbs+, Squat 225lbs+, Deadlift 250lbs+ for at least 1 rep
  2. Stretch/do mobility work 2-3x a week either upon waking up or before I go to bed for at least 10-15min
  3. Write out weekly gratitudes 1-3x a week
  4. Being mindful of hunger cues. Nip emotional eating in the bud.
  5. Write a blog post a month
  6.  Create and follow a monthly budget
  7. Research more with respect to post-grad studies/programs/requirements etc
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Some people may think it’s skewed that my strength goals are the first ones on my list, but everyone’s priorities are different.

That first goal is what helps me get up in the morning, inspires me to eat well, drink water, go to sleep at a regular time and generally just take care of myself. I know that my training is going to feel like someone threw a brick at my head if I don’t give my body rest and recovery and being conscious over this is what gives me balance in my life.

My strength goals are more than numbers and a growing ego, they are a representation of my growing self esteem, my physical health and my mental health. Personally I feel as though that is what I need to prioritize most at this time in my life.

Now it’s your turn my friends, what do you care about completing this year? Or maybe starting up this year? It can be developing a new habit, removing an old habit, making some sort of significant purchase, taking a leap of faith, anything. Choose at least one thing that scares you right out of your pants, because that is what is going to keep you going to the end.

Wish me luck and remember, you are only as strong as your weakest lift. Also, have a Fantastic 2017… because God knows it can’t possibly be worse than 2016.

Note:

Debated adding this afterthought but they say if you want to reach a goal, you’ve got to write it down and then tell other people, so here it is: I want to eventually compete as a 57kg competitive powerlifter. I didn’t put enter a powerlifting meet on this list because I don’t necessarily feel 2017 is the right timeline for that. I’m unfortunately extremely competitive and will not delve into something like this until I have done all my homework, My plan is to go in with a bang, and that I will do… but likely not until 2018. This however may change depending on how the year goes I suppose. Just wanted to throw this out there because it’s something that scares me a little still but it’s also something I have had on my mind for a very long time and what better way to keep yourself accountable than writing it on a public blog post.

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