Honestly, the best thing about switching competitions – aside from not having to face that insurmountable 50kg log press – is that I don’t have to worry about my weight anymore. After spending 2+ years not paying any attention to the number on the scale, and encouraging others to do the same, it was a total mindf*ck to have to focus on a purely scale-related goal.
When I started my lean out back in April, I weighed in at 75kg. Week to week, my weight didn’t change that much. I would often lose a kilogram only to gain it back the following week. However, it never concerned me because my measurements were going down, my clothes were less snug and I generally looked better. After three months of losing fat, I had only lost 3kg, but the non-scale progress was significant.
I took these pictures back in April, after two months of not working out and eating like crap. I felt mortified when I saw these pictures. I did not want to share them on my blog at the time, because I felt like a complete failure as a PT. My ‘after’ shots are further down the page!
This month, when I found out I only had nine weeks to lose 5kg I instantly freaked out, even moreso when my coach did not seem worried in the slightest. He thought it would just fall off if I took laxatives/sat in a sauna/cut sodium – all things that didn’t really seem like smart ideas right before a strength competition!
The next part makes me ashamed to admit, but I became obsessed with the scale. I started weighing myself every day, sometimes twice a day! I hit 71kg and celebrated, but then freaked out when I gained that kilo back only a few days later. It brought up old issues of tying my happiness to the scale, and not wanting to eat if the reading was too high. I started doubting the large amount of food I was eating, but also knew that I would be starving if I ate any less.
I had changed my body slowly over the past few months by making minimal changes. I was still enjoying my favourite foods regularly and wasn’t doing any real cardio. I did not want to have to start sprinting three days a week, on top of all my other crazy training, while going back to a chicken-and-broccoli-only diet.
I even started feeling bad about the weight I have gained over the years. When I first started lifting, I weighed 65kg. If I had not “gained weight”, I would have easily fit into the under 68kg class. These thoughts were so stupid because even though I weigh more, I look better. I didn’t gain fat, I gained muscle, and I did it all by choice and with a solid reason behind it. When faced with one stupid weight cut, I was doubting absolutely everything I knew about weight, aesthetics and performance.
Every other strongwoman competition in the UK seems to only have an under 75kg and over 75kg division, which is actually perfect for me as I can be in the high end of the low category (and therefore maximise my pound for pound strength). Perhaps next year, once I have a bit more strength under my belt, it will be easier to make the U68 category as I can focus all of my attention on cutting weight.
Finally, another thing that I was struggling with was losing weight when I didn’t think I needed to. I posted the picture above a few weeks ago, and received quite a few comments and emails saying I didn’t need to lose weight. I agreed! It seemed silly to keep pushing my body to be leaner, when gaining strength should be my number one goal at the moment.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt more confident in my own skin. I don’t have six pack abs, but I’m lean enough that I can see my muscle definition. I like having boobs and an ass. I am constantly amazed at what my body can do, and that beats single digit body fat for me any day. I look strong and I am strong. Why do I need a number on the scale to tell me that?
Have you ever overcome a battle with the scale?