Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

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Happily Ever During

There is no after. That’s what I’ve learned. The only “after” will be once I’m dead. Until then, it’s all just during.

There is no

This photo shows the last five years of my life at different weights and sizes. There’s times I’ve had more motivation. Times I had less. Times I felt fantastic. Times I hurt. Times I weighed less. Times I weighed more. Times I didn’t give a flying fuck. Times I cared too much.

In other words: Life happened.

Honestly, I loved how I looked and felt in November 2012, and I’m working towards looking and feeling that way again. But sometimes, it’s just not a priority. And that’s okay. If I were a personal trainer or a fitness model, then it would be a higher priority. But I’m not. And I’m perfectly content where I am. My life does not improve in any major way if my body fat percentage is a little lower, if I can run a little faster, if I can lift a little heavier, if I wear a smaller clothing style. It really just doesn’t matter if I’m fairly fit or super fit.

Some in the fitness industry would like to call someone like me a failure, because I’m not constantly improving or even trying to. Say I’m just making excuses or I’m not focused or determined enough. Screw ’em. I don’t say they’re failures if they can’t, won’t or don’t do other things I do. I’ve never said, “I re-tiled my kitchen floor, repaired my broken dryer, dishwasher and stove, and installed drywall by myself… what’s YOUR excuse?” How ridiculous would that be?! I love to read, I’ve tamed feral cats and literally taught an old dog new tricks, I’m a pretty damn good artist and an obsessive bargain hunter… if someone else doesn’t do those things, does that make them failures, unfocused or not determined? No. That means they have other interests. And so do I. And so do you.

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DIY Fitspo

So have y’all seen the blog post “The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible Fitspiration Photos?” Now, I do think the author might be reading a bit more into them than should be read, but overall, I agree. I find most fitspo annoying… the idea that health and fitness should be based on shame, deprivation and punishment.

So a handful of us on MyFitnessPal decided we’d make our own, starring ourselves, not models who fasted for a shoot and have a team to do their hair and makeup, a professional photographer, perfect lighting, and some photoshop gurus to correct any flaw that still slip through the cracks. Fitspo for the normal person.

Here’s mine:

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12 Weeks of Stronglifts!

I finished my 12th week of Stronglifts on Friday. I’m not posting these photos because they show some awesome transformation. In fact, there’s not a helluva lot of difference between my starting photos and my week 12 photos. And that’s the point. Lifting heavy made me buttloads stronger. But it didn’t make me into She-Hulk. I might eat like a man, lift like a man, sweat like a man, smell like a man and swear like a man… but I still look most definitely like a woman.

In fact, there’s so little change, it’s almost depressing. That I’ve worked my ass off to look pretty much the same. When I’m dressed, no one can see that my waist is a little smaller or that I have more definition in my legs or abs.

But it’s about MORE than just appearance. I’m 40. I’m at an age where women start losing muscle every year. I’m also on depo provera, which can affect bone density. Lifting is like making deposits into an insurance policy on my future health.

And there’s little things, like the other day I was rearranging furniture, and was able to move my dressers without taking all the drawers out first. I was able to lift my husband’s very heavy solid oak antique desk – with his computer still on it – enough to put those moving sliders under it. I would have had to wait for help before. Ditto for taking the air conditioners out of the windows.

All the boring stats…

Starting weight: 132.2
Week 2: 132.6
Week 4: 132.6
Week 6: 135
Week 8: 135
Week 10: 134.2
Week 12: 133.5

According to online calculators, My body fat gone from 20% at the start, to 18.6% now. I’m not sure if that’s accurate or not, but I don’t much care. I’m happy with how I look and feel, so the exact number doesn’t matter to me.

Squat:
Start: 45
Week 2: 70
Week 4: 97
Week 6: 110
Week 8: 127
Week 10: 142
Week 12: 160

Deadlift:
Start: 75
Week 2: 90
Week 4: 107
Week 6: 110
Week 8: 135
Week 10: 145
Week 12: 160

Bench:
Start: 65
Week 2: 75
Week 4: 77
Week 6: 80
Week 8: 85
Week 10: 90
Week 12: 100

Row:
Start: 65
Week 2: 75
Week 4: 87
Week 6: 90
Week 8: 95
Week 10: 100
Week 12: 105

Overhead Press:
Start: 45
Week 2: 55
Week 4: 62
Week 6: 62
Week 8: 65
Week 10: 65
Week 12: 70

And the photos. Since the biweekly photos are getting pretty tiny, I also put the starting photos with the final photos.

And this is why it gets so frustrating when we see women who think they’re going to get big and bulky lifting weights, and especially when they’re doing something like the 30 Day Shred with 3 pound dumbbells and eating 1200 calories. I’m eating at maintenance – about 2300 calories – and lifting pretty darn heavy. I didn’t get noticeably bigger… I’m still wearing the same clothes. I didn’t lose my curves… in fact, my waist got smaller. My bum got higher and perkier.

And best of all… I feel like a superhero. I used to be a weakling. I once threw out my back because I twisted weird cleaning up cat puke. That was humiliating…. walking around like a question mark, and having people ask what happened. “Freak hairball injury.”

Knowing I can bench press 75% of my body weight and squat more than my body weight makes me strut around like a peacock. I always through of myself as pretty awesome. I’m smart, funny, creative, artistic. Being smart, funny, creative, artistic AND strong is even cooler.

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