Weight and Resistance Training - Lessons Learned (Long, get the air popped popcorn)

03-27-2008, 08:35 PM
My Challenge raps up this weekend.

Boy, LWL, this has been some journey. An emotional one at that.

I don't know the end of the week tally, but last looked I was 12-15lbs down and 3+% bodyfat down. For then 7 weeks, I'm happy with my progress. My skills increased dramatically as I got competitive to be faster and now run a sprint at 7-7.3mph and do other sprints, like on the arc, that are well tolerated. I am also stronger.

Loads stronger.

Yesterday I was training with my new trainer and as she realized the cable row weight she selected was light for me, we kept searching for the challenge. Drum Roll--I can do the whole stack for 8 reps.

LWL, she's great. She doesn't take umbrage that I'm this strong (stronger than her she's told me), but has FUN with it.

But the journey hasn't been without it's hurts. The team I gathered...well does the movie Mean Girls mean anything to anyone? I never thought women 35-53 could be such biatches. Their issue with me? You're so serious. No fun. Obsessed with weights. Things came to a head this week as I was sure I was being excluded from future plans and they confirmed it. I was hurt but stuck the session out and realized that the reason I was no fun is that I strive to do all the reps set before me. The reason I'm obsessed with weights is that I try to find a weight that is a challenge for me. I watched them today quit when the going got tough and my former 1-1 trainer who always pushed me didn't push them the same way.

The worst part of course was that my training relationship deteriorated with him beyond repair. But I chalk it up to I had him when I needed him and he was up to the challenge and I'm now going to the person right for me at this stage.

So, what are my lessons learned?

-muscle is key to bodyfat loss
-challenge is necessary
-perseverence will take you far
-dignity is everything
-only do what you can be proud of
-trust your gut about people
-some people find hard work, focus, and a work ethic intimidating, not to mention ability
-you need a trainer right for where you are and that can change
-gyms have their own drama and some can suck you into it
-don't buy into the gossip
-group train only with those at the same level and whom you have established a relationship
-if people aren't your friends, they're not worth your hurt
-challenges are promotional by nature
-be careful how close you get to a trainer
-surround yourself with only those who support you, not drag you down
-rely on yourself first and foremost
-I'm wicked fast for a big girl
-I'm freakishly strong (and need to learn to not be weirded it out by it but instead proud)
-And lastly, my first trainer was right, I am capable of more than I ever thought

You can read on my blog about the drama if you're so inclined, but you get the gist, I'm sure.

I won't have won a prize, I don't think. Add to the list that a body new to working out has what I call "shock and drop". 2 others lost 15 and 17lbs as of last week. But they also restricted themselves and overworked (gym 2x a day) and created an unsustainable lifestyle which...well yo-yo is on the way I'm sure as lately all they talk about is beer and pizza and cutting back on working out to just 3x/week.

So, unless my body has a sudden b/f drop, I might get a day at the spa as a prize. If you pray, pray for a miracle win of at least 2nd place? Would hate to have gone through so much loss and hurt for nothing.

Ah, but I know, it's not nothing--I learned a lot.

03-28-2008, 07:44 AM

I think a zen moment is in place here.

If you think this through, I think you will realise that you never ever did these past 7 weeks just for the kudo's of winning from others.
First of all, you had already started before this contest even began.
And secondly, keeping up with the day in day out hard work of making the correct choices, you konw deep down that is a choice you do not make for some strangers, it is a choice you make for YOU. Because it is good for your soul.

And in that light I would say that you have won everything that you started for and more. because you have learned a lot about your self, and some of that was pretty good.

Your next challenge again, is not about some strangers and comparing your bodyfat to their bodyfat. Your next challenge is to continue on your own road, explore what the future has in store for you. You might find ever better things about yourself.

Bon voyage,


03-28-2008, 02:48 PM
Their issue with me? You're so serious. No fun. Obsessed with weights. Things came to a head this week as I was sure I was being excluded from future plans and they confirmed it. I was hurt but stuck the session out and realized that the reason I was no fun is that I strive to do all the reps set before me. The reason I'm obsessed with weights is that I try to find a weight that is a challenge for me.

Most of the really strong women I know train with men. It can be hard to find a group of women that share your level of strength and enthusiasm for building it. Do you have any interest in powerlifting? I sounds like you might really enjoy it, and your talents would be better appreciated in a PL competition than in a bodybuilding or regular fitness gym.

03-28-2008, 03:28 PM
:hug: What a ride for you. Although your "teammates" have shunned you I can only applaud you and all that you have accomplished. IMHO they don't really belong in a gym or part of a challenge if they can't take it seriously. They are just wasting their own time and taking up valuable space. ~sigh~ Okay, end of my rant. Honestly though I am very selective about who I "befriend" at the gym for this reason as well. Who needs the drama, I'm there to meditate and recharge for the events ahead of me in my own life story not to play a part of theirs..okay, now I really am done with my rant. :D

You've taken what looks like it could have been a huge stumbling block for others and drove straight through. I have no doubt that while your physical strength has increased so has the strength of you character and conviction about how to care for yourself in this world. Good for you! :hug:

03-28-2008, 05:15 PM
I love introspective posts!

I'm coming in a little late regarding the contest, but the truth is the journey of lifting and the power and confidence you have built----these ARE the true rewards. A day at the spa or kudos are nice, but you have gotten something so much more valuable. I am so so proud of your efforts and strength!!!

Being a woman, you'd think I'd understand our species a little more, but the only thing I really know about that is that I don't have time for pettiness. And neither do you. There is fat to burn, muscles to build, and weights to lift!

03-28-2008, 10:18 PM
Some really nice thoughts. Thank you all.

Powerlifting? Who knows. The other day I leg pressed 500lbs so maybe I'm a strong woman after all : )

03-30-2008, 08:05 AM

My bodyfat decided to play a game and went UP while my weight went down 1.5 lbs, making me lose the Challenge, or maybe end up in third place. I told him, "I will not be disappointed. In 2 months I lost more lbs than I did in 4 before, I am amazingly faster and stronger. I for one find that all great."

He chastized me a bit, saying he told me that adding the weight lifting would make me gain weight and that he had designed this program specifically for weight loss. Well, he didn't say that. I specifically asked if it was a problem adding in weight lifting and he said no. I did so because I could tell I was losing strength.

I really hate when someone says they said something I know for sure they didn't. And the irony is last week he was telling me it was an advantage (when the scale was showing my bodyfat down). I saw him through fresh eyes yesterday--a guy who really wants to always be right, yet doesn't have all the answers, changes his responses according to the moment, and who is negative and unsupportive. I see his frustration is in how what you say proves his faults. Anyway, this wasn't who he was in the beginning, but I needed to see who he was now to know I have made the best decision for me switching trainers.

As I have learned regarding the women, I need to let go for me--choose what's right for me, and they and he aren't it.

So, instead of disappointment, I feel good. LWL, I AM STRONG. LWL, I AM FAST. Oh, and I'm lookin' pretty good! LOL.

03-31-2008, 03:50 PM
That is the spirit jerseygirl1 You rock on!


03-31-2008, 10:10 PM
Wouldn't you know 2 days later I'm down 4lbs. ARGH! LOL!