After seven weeks of being completely sedentary, today was my first day back in the gym. I have never been so excited – or scared – to work out. I did three sets each of goblet squats, dumbbell lunges, leg extensions, leg curls and single leg hip thrusts.
I have never been so aware of my own body during a workout. I still have to be careful making any sudden or powerful up and down movements, as I can’t significantly increase the pressure in my eye. So no exercises like burpees, box jumps, squat jumps but also no beloved deadlifts. But never fear – I am confident that, over time, I will be able to teach my body to deadlift in a way that is safe for me and my eye.
For now, I’m taking it easy and figuring out what my body can handle. I have no idea how much strength I’ve lost – the weights I used today were about a third of what I normally lift, but I was purposely keeping it light and doing 12-20 reps. I’m likely to use more machines than normal as I ease my body back into lifting.
I thought I would prepare myself for today’s workout by doing a short bodyweight circuit on Saturday. Big mistake! During my second set of bodyweight squats, I felt my hamstrings cramp. Yes, I pulled my hamstrings during bodyweight squats. Oh, the shame.
The same thing happened today’s squats. My hamstrings must be extra tight or maybe they’re just dealing with the fact that I haven’t done any exercise for almost two months. Given that I had serious DOMS from Saturday’s workout, I can’t imagine how painful walking will be tomorrow!
When I’m not training, I’m very lazy about stretching and foam rolling. I initially wasn’t allowed to do these things anyway, but for the past week I could have – I just chose the lazy way out instead. I find it so much easier to be diligent about my mobility when I’m training.
Similarly, it’s much easier to eat normally now. Since posting about my problems with comfort eating and declining body image, I had improved but I was still indulging far too often. I didn’t see the point in trying to be strict when I wasn’t lifting. I’m still yet to feel hunger since my accident, so I’m hoping that will return as I continue training this week.
I have decided to resume the cut I began the day before my accident. When I polled you guys way back when, most of you wanted to read about my progress (except for the four people, including my husband, that voted no! ha).
Now before you call me crazy for beginning a diet on the very day I return to the gym, hear me out. Firstly, the reason I want to document this so openly is because I want to show you that you don’t have to starve yourself to lose fat. Many people in the blogging world try to emulate the unhealthy diets of figure competitors.
When competitors post their diets in magazines, do you really think that is their actual diet? They are being paid by supplement companies to promote certain products, and they are very unlikely to give away their true secrets. Pages like Sioux Country and Lean Bodies Consulting are shining light on the permanent physical damage strict dieting can cause.
Obviously, I do NOT want to do this. After years of restrictive undereating, I ruined my metabolism. I have worked very hard for almost three years to repair that damage, and I want to show my readers that fat loss is possible without hours of daily cardio and a complete lack of carbohydrates.
I want to be completely real with you guys, and this starts right now. This is a photo I took this morning. Don’t judge me too harshly – I’ve been binge eating and my muscles are as flat as a pancake!
The second reason for wanting to document my fat loss journey is purely superficial. After my accident, I realised that I haven’t been in great shape since before I started lifting (in that case, was it really great shape?). It was sad to think that I could have worked that hard to build muscle, but never seen the package underneath.
So, selfishly, I want to look good when I go away this summer and I would like to have some professional photos taken.
For the next two weeks, my sole focus is just to completely eliminate the junk and work on easing my way back into training. I have no doubt I will lose weight from those small changes alone, considering I have been having ice cream every single night for the past month!
I will document every aspect of my journey, including diet and training changes, how I feel mentally and how my body responds physically. I will also include progress pictures every week. If you want to look good for summer, now’s the perfect time to join me!
Now, who has some tips tips for beating Ben and Jerry’s withdrawal?