Ignore the Pressure, Enjoy the Progress
If progress photos are meant to show actual progress, then why are so many of the fitness accounts that we follow editing their photos?
I can tell you one reason: pressure.
There is so much pressure to be the most motivating human existence. To show that you are never soft, never take a break, never stop to listen to the needs of your body, and are never not lean. Having a history in fitness, I have felt this pressure, in one way or another, countless times. Over the past year, I have truly enjoyed taking a hiatus from lifting to pursue other avenues to health. Metal & spiritual health has taken priority, with balanced eating (not just calorically restricted to achieve physical "beauty") and enjoying my types of exercise following in second.
I started training again last week and WHOA! Do I feel amazing. No cardio, just awesome 30-40 min lifting sessions following Wendlers 5/3/1 - my body is loving it.
I have absolutely no goals in mind visually for my body, but I do have the goal of loving on it in the best way possible EVEN when I'm training. I will track & post progress here, but why? All my progress pics may look the exact same for the next 6 months, but isn't that good too? I'm sharing with you that I don't have a magic tea, I don't have cool pill, and I definitely don't have a surgeon on retainer, but what I do have is God's image and a pretty bomb sports bra. 🍭
Here are my REAL progress pics (click to scroll):
What am I doing for diet?
Actually. "Nothing". And by nothing, I mean a lot. :)
I am eating when I am hungry. And stopping when I am full (most of the time!). I am focusing more on micro-nutrients while not allowing my macronutrients to fail either. What I've been finding with myself is that I am more stoked and excited about lifting when I am also feeling well fed. (surprise surprise). Steve is tracking macros as of Monday, so we are keeping food that work for hitting his numbers in the house, and I just eat a bunch of that and then some. I've been allowing tons more fruit in my diet. It's been helping as I swear I was only pooping like once a week (barely). SOOOOOO....yeah.
Will I track macros again? Eh. Only if I decide to. Kind of a "no duh" answer, but that's kind of where I am right now.
What about cardio?
There is seriously so much focus on cardio. I wonder if there would be more understanding if I explained a story this way.
When a person first decides they want to start running (maybe to train for a marathon), they run one mile to start. That one mile is tough, and their bodies FEEL that workout. Then that one mile becomes easier, and they move it up to two miles. They start to see their abs peak out, their legs become nice and lean, and they are feeling great. So on and so on until soon, they have been running five miles every day for a year and they are gaining weight, or unable to lose weight like they were able to when they first started. Now, not only can they not stop running (cardio) they also have to magically remove calories from their diet that they absolutely need for their cardio? How?
Now, think about if you were to do an hour of cardio every day. Soon, that won't be enough, you'll need to up it to two hours AND go into more of a caloric deficiency JUST to keep from gaining weight. That does not sound like a happy longevity focused plan to me...
Wouldn't you rather train, eat well, and get your "cardio" in JUST through your lifts, a walk around the neighborhood, playing with your kids/dog? You hear people try to hit your panic button by talking about your heart health and how your heart NEEDS to be at high rates (cardio) for long periods of time every day. I would challenge those people to provide you with ACTUAL research.
Keep it simple.
So what does a typical workout look like for me?
I like deadlift days the most, so I'll outline that for you!
Mobility/Warm Up : 10/15 min (if I'm being good that day)
Warm Up Sets: 2x3 sets
3 Working Sets (see 5/3/1)
2 Accessory Lifts (like rows or lat pull downs on deadlift day)
Stretch (again, if I'm being good that day)
So there ya go. That's it. When I'm alone, I can get my training done within 40 minutes and I can spend the rest of the day living life outside of the gym.
I hope that helps!
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