The Work of your Hands

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mulberry face

I want you to stop beating yourself up.  I don’t mean giving up, or saying, ” Well I should just be happy with the way things are.” I mean taking those baby steps toward your dreams, following your heart and then patting yourself on the back for the courage it took to take those steps!

Look at the work of your hands. Look at your hands–what have they done? Today? Every day? Over the years? What have you accomplished? Are you enriching people’s lives? If you’re not, then find out What You Want To Be Doing on this planet and Who You Want To Be and start doing it! But if you are taking the baby steps, then allow yourself to celebrate, breathe it in, own it, feel joyful about it.

The Work Of My Hands:

My growing garden. My two beautiful children. My bald-ass chickens. Nasturtiums and lavender blooming. 195lbs deadlifted. Kitchen cleaned. Laundry going. Blog post written. Helping people relearn how to move well and get strong. Helping people feel better with massage. Working day-by-day on my relationships with my daughter, my son, my husband, myself.

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who can resist a chubby naked baby?

This is the work of my hands. I am accomplishing and moving toward my goals. I am making the world a better place.

My normal mode of thinking is to see only how far I have to go and how far I fall short of Who I Want To Be.

Yes, the world is Going to Hell in a Handbasket and yep you can ALWAYS do more. But have you taken the step? Have you moved forward? Have you done what you know to be right?

Don’t stop making progress on the path, but

Take a look at the work of your hands– and be proud.

Almond Butter Yumminess

Ever made your own almond butter? You should. It’s easy, waay less expensive than store bought, and oh-so-tasty!

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mmmm…it didn’t last long!

Simply purchase a 16oz bag of raw almonds, dump in your food processor and process for 10-15 minutes. Then add sea salt to taste.

My favorite way to eat it is mixed with plain full fat Greek yogurt and stevia or by the spoonful! This is my solution to tummy troubles that are caused by peanut butter.

Tips:

  • DON’T use roasted almonds
  • DON’T add water when you think it’s too dryI’ve done both and the results were not good.

Try making your own almond butter. I think you’ll like it:)

Wednesday Stills

Totally stole this idea from Rachel Martin of Finding Joy (Love her blog). Such a lovely way to recap the week and prepare for the week upcoming.

And yeah, it’s supposed to be “Sunday Stills”, but I’ve been busy working like a mother and lifting like a mother so, you’re getting this on Wednesday:)

Training Recap: Focused on deadlift and bench press in preparation for upcoming powerlifting meet. Deadlift not so good progress. Bench press–good progress. Did a nice deload day for squats and had fun with a finisher of burpees and kettlebell swings.

Training Plans for This Week: Continue focus on deadlift (goal 205 single) and bench press (goal 100 for a double) –last week to kick it hard before going lighter week before the meet.

Grateful For: My little guy Benji who turned 1 July 5. I treasure the memory of his beautiful homebirth. Benjamin you have brought sweetness to my life over the last year!

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Happy Tears!

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Benji 11 months

Wishing That: I was stronger! (Duh!)

What’s Hard: Allergies blow! (literally) Don’t know why it’s affecting me in July. Maybe my system is more inflamed with the heavy lifting than usual. Upping my vit C, and taking quercetin in addition to my regular supplements in hopes of dampening my immune response in overdrive.

What’s Fabulous: That my body (and mind) is feeling better since cutting my training volume down and adding in multi vitamins and fish oil a few weeks ago. I no longer want to cry when I think about going to the gym and my little tweaks and aches and pains are just about gone!

Powerlifting Meet Preparation

Starting to worry and obsess about my upcoming meet. The meet is bench press and deadlift only–no squat. Still haven’t decided what I want my attempts to be. Definitely want to go 6 for 6, since it’s hard for me to “fail” and just shake it off.

I was hoping to have progressed more with my deadlifts, but yesterday could still only get 2 reps at 200lbs same as 2 months ago. I was aiming for 5 reps. On the other hand my benching went nicely. Funny, since I think bench press is a boring lift and isn’t as “functional” as a standing press.

I think I will go for at least 100lb on the bench, maybe as much as 110lbs. I’d like to do 210lbs at least for deadlift, but may need to stay lower.

Hoping to have my brother in town to help me load plates for warm up–haven’t asked him yet:) and a friend to get help with lift off for the bench press and to get my attempts to the judges. We’ll see what my team of “handlers” ends up looking like day of. It might be me, myself, and I. But, hey, that’s the way I’m used to doing things! Not always the easiest, most fun, or most productive, but when you have no other options–you get the job done!

Not sure when my next meet will be, since the rest of the year I will be training for RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) certification, so I want to make sure this powerlifting meet will be smooth as it can be and hopefully fun and rewarding!

The other movement goals on my list include competing in ballroom dance, doing something more in belly dance ( I miss dancing), and Olympic-style weightlifting. I still need to think about whether I want to focus on one for awhile or just start checking things off my bucket list!

I’ll keep you posted on the meet if you sub to my blog! And thanks!

Why Women Should Lift Heavy Weights

Every woman needs to strength train.

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NOT lift pink 5 lb. dumb bells. NOT on the weight machines, but under a f******* barbell, or kettlebell or heavy dumbbell.

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Seriously. If you’re not lifting heavy you have no idea what you’re missing.

Mainly this:

CONFIDENCE

When you can lift more than your body weight, you can do just about anything.

I am not perfect, but when I face my fear of getting under the bar, I can face my fear of telling the hard truths, of taking the next leap in my work life, of sharing my passions with absolute strangers.

Oh, and there are side benefits to lifting heavy–fat loss, muscle gain, increased bone density, and plus you can eat more:)

So I don’t care if you’ve never picked up a weight in your life. Start where you are. Learn to do full push ups. Put 10lbs above your head. Learn to body weight squat correctly. Then go get some kettlebells, or barbell set and power rack, or join a good gym.

Invest in yourself.

Strong body=strong soul.

Go do it, then come tell me how it’s changed your life.

Belly Fat (and progress pics)

Ugh! Hard to see my belly expand and not with a baby this time!  I’m about ready to start cutting calories again. Sick of belly pooch and sick of growing out of clothes! This all for the cause of gaining muscle along with the fat right?

And I have gained muscle. I love the way I look everywhere else, but the fat always goes straight to my mid-section. I bet I’m about 25% body fat right now–up from around 22% 6 weeks ago. I’m just guessing though. I’ve gained 5lbs, yes, on purpose. I know in the powerlifting world this is probably nothing. You see, my primary goal at this time is to gain strength and muscle and to do that, you have to eat a lot.

Some days I’m ok with it, but a lot of days I’m thinking “whoa, this has gone too far,” as I eye the little roll above my waist band.

Will cutting a bit hurt my strength gains? Cuz not cutting is hurting my pride! I’ve got about 1 more month until my first powerlifting meet. After that I will begin training for the RKC certification in October. I am sure to lose body fat training for that due to high volume and high intensity training.

I’m gonna share some progress pics with you NOT so you can comment and stroke my ego and NOT so you can comment and tell me how I need to lose fat either, but so that you can SEE the muscle gain and get a better idea of what happens when you lift heavy and eat lots.

Pics on the left are from January, six months postpartum. I had been doing low to medium intensity kettlebell work since about 1 month postpartum. Pics on the right are from June after six months of heavy barbell work (please excuse the mess!)

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Very proud of the back progress!

Funny thing is, I think I’ve received more compliments since I’ve started powerlifting in January than I’ve ever had (even when I was much leaner). But I’m also good at the art of camouflage. Ha!

Yep, I’m eating a LOT probably around 2500 plus calories/day to fuel my lifting. And you know what? It’s really liberating not to have to worry about how much I’m eating all the time. My choices are very healthy for the most part–lots of real food– high protein and high fat, with a few well chosen carbs. And what can I say, more “treats” than I would usually eat as well.

I share these feelings because I know that just about every woman struggles with body image issues, regardless of how lean, or muscled, or fit, or fat, or big, or small, or “in shape” she is. I am striving to change how I view myself and my body–to love and value my body for what it can DO, not solely for how I look.

I hope to reach a point where (at least on most days) I will believe that my body is AWESOME and not give a f*** about reaching some unrealistic six-pack abs standard.

One Small Step

Take one small step TODAY. Tomorrow take another. And another. And another.

If you do not take action today–right now–you will never be any closer to your goal.

I’m repeating these words to myself as I write my first blog post. I’m afraid my writing will be boring, will offend, won’t resonate, or in some other way will be less than perfect.

Many mistakes must be made on the road to success (however you define it). And you can’t fail or succeed if you never try, create, or put something out there.

So, I am pushing through my fears and my perfectionism in the belief that I have a message worth sharing that people in general, and women specifically, need to hear.

Mainly these:

    • Lift heavy weights
    • Eat real food
    • Feel the fear and do it anyway
    • Follow your heart
    • Always question the status quo
    • If it’s important do it every day
    • And don’t forget to dance!

If these points resonate with you please subscribe and tell your friends.

What one small step will YOU take TODAY toward your dreams?