Progress is a funny thing. It can be like when you’re writing an essay, and you can see progress as the paragraphs increase and as your word count grows.
This is the progress I am seeing right now. I see the lifting numbers increase weekly, and while that is great as numbers don’t lie, I don’t see it when I look in the mirror. I don’t see visible muscles. I don’t see a more streamlined body. I still see the same overweight body I’ve seen all my life (apart from the few
months weeks after I lost 85 pounds).
Let me elucidate further. I don’t expect to look like Jillian Michaels after a few months of strength training. (I did Starting Strength for a few months before changing over to NROLFW.) I did expect to look a little better. I don’t. It’s frustrating. It makes me question lifting heavily at this stage of where my body is, size/weight wise. (The perils of being short, le sigh.) It makes me wonder if I should have dramatically lowered my calories and done more cardio to start and then moved on to lifting. And thoughts like that just lead me down a road I don’t want to go down again. It just leads me down a to disordered eating, severe calorie deprivation, and constant hunger.
I understand all of the health benefits to weight lifting and the science behind it. I know eventually my body will catch up (hopefully) or I will have to start reducing calories even more, which I really don’t want to have to do. (I currently eat 1500 calories/day as a baseline, and I do eat back some exercise calories especially on days that I lift. And before you ask everything is weighed and measured and tracked- which can be stressful sometimes, but that is another story for another time. I also eat plenty of lean protein.)
So the numbers: Stage 1 of New Rules of Lifting For Women
- Weight loss: 7lb
- Hips & Waist: -2 inches each
- Calf & under chest: -.5 inches each
- Squat: starting: 15kg/33lb
halfway: appx 25kg/55lb (I have switched to using the Smith machine while I work on my form and b/c of my still slightly wonky knee.)
- Seated row: starting: 18kg/40lb
- Step up: starting: 8kg/17lb
- Deadlift: starting: 20kg/44lb
- Dumbbell shoulder press: starting: 6kg/13lb
- Lat Pulldown: starting: 18kg/40lb
- Lunge: starting 6kg/13lb:
halfway: 6kg/13lb (This is the one I have the hardest time with for some reason and have been working on modifications using a stair or step to allow for a better range of motion. It’s weird. I am really flexible, but not in doing lunges.)
- Swiss ball crunch: starting: no weight
I am pleased with this progress, and I look forward to seeing more after this last half of stage 1.
How do you measure progress?