Breaking the Scale
The USAW Nationals for 2015 are finally over and I couldn’t be happier. I feel like I got my life back on track. For the last let’s say three months, only a few people in my life knew the struggles I was going through. Now I want to share my overwhelming experience with you.
Last year around this time is when I started getting serious about weightlifting. I weighed in at 125 pounds, yes I was considered a 58kg lifter at the time. Five months later for the American Open in 2014, I weighed in at 105 pounds. For those five months I was very diligent in tracking my macros. It was the easiest (and first) weight cut I have ever had.
After the AO, I began to do some strength training and continued competing in CrossFit. Training more meant eating more, and with those combined meant more gainz in my lifts and in body mass. I was not mad about it, until I had to begin cutting again in preps for Nationals.
Though my training was on point with my new coaches and team (brUTE Strength), I couldn’t shake off the weight as easily as I did before. I never properly reversed dieted like I should have after the AO and I was pissed at myself for it. Just about every day I would bitch and complain to my boyfriend about how hard it was going. Everyday I’d find excuses not to compete so I wouldn’t have to cut weight anymore. I started to obsess over the scale even. I’d wake up then weigh myself, take a poop and weight myself, eat breakfast and weight myself; it became very unhealthy very quickly. I was in total denial of course.
Ladies and gentlemen, I understand when you compete in weight classes, you pretty much have to weigh yourself daily. When you become obsessed like I did, it might be time to take a little break from it all. It has been exactly one week since I’ve weighed myself and I feel so much better. I have no clue how much I weigh this days and I couldn’t care less.
I’m not trying to scare you guys about the horrors of weight cutting. I mean like any woman, I can get a little crazy when dieting. However, I made this extra hard on myself. Okay so I didn’t reverse diet like I should have. That wasn’t the problem though. I put so much pressure on myself taking on too much at one time. I was traveling across the country for training and seminars, I even had a seminar held in the Caribbean! I went to California for two weeks to support my boyfriend at the CrossFit Games and visit family, I even went to the brUTE retreat literally one week before Nationals. If there is something you want, like kicking ass at Nationals and maybe even setting a new PR there, focus on that. I didn’t have my priorities straight which could be why I bombed. My weight fluctuated everyday due to all the traveling. I hate water cutting and boiling but those were things I had to do to finish making weight at Nationals, which could be another reason for my unsuccessful lifts that Friday morning.
I love a good competition, I do. However going on a diet to make a certain weight class does not thrill me, especially to 105 pounds. The last time I weighed 105 without dieting for it, I was at a traditional gym and all I did was the treadmill and elliptical with the occasional cables. I had zero muscle, I was “skinny fat”. I’m taking a break from competing in weightlifting as a 48kg. On October 3rd, I will be at the Hookgrip Spartikiad but lifting as a 53kg (116 lbs.). Right now my focus is on my team training, which I absolutely love. Weightlifting is such an individualized sport, you start to get lonely- or at least I did when I was training at CrossFit Lindy by myself with my own programming. Now I’m on two teams (Harlem Horsemen and CF Island Park) and I’m enjoying training again. Remember guys, once the fun goes away, it might be time to walk away.
To the left I'm 105 pound and moody. The right was taken today. I have no clue how much I weigh but I'm happy to be eating and training hard, and not worrying about the damn scale.
You asked, I’m answering. May not be the answer you want or are looking for but here are my answers. If I did not answer your posted question, it was either a good question that I will save for a future blog post, or the question was just a waste of mine and everyone else’s time.
“Do you have to have your body fat measured with flexible dieting?” I think it’s a good idea to have when you first start out especially. You ought to know what your lean body mass is so when you set your macros up, you don’t set your protein too low. It’s not major to have, I can still set up clients’ macros without. I also don’t recommend using the handheld tests either. Talk about inaccuracy. Try testing your body fat with the bod pod or DEXA scan.
“Flexible Dieting and eating on dates with a new dude without looking weird.” Plan ahead. Check out the menu beforehand and plug in your meal, be sure to overestimate if you don’t want to bust out that scale at the table. However, who cares if you look weird. Mr. Right will accept your weirdness no matter what
“What mascara do you use? Are those your real lashes?” I wear Ardell and Andre false eyelashes; the ones on that post last week were Andrea #45. I use Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express mascara in ‘brownish black.’
“Do you follow the Outlaw Way site program or do you use tailored programming?” The Way portion is too high volume for me as a weightlifter so I just follow the OBB part which is programmed by Mr. David Fleming. My boyfriend, Daniel Tyminski, programs for me though. He offers remote coaching and will be taking a new wave of clients after the Games this summer. Email him at Daniel.Tyminski@crossfitlindy.com
“How many hours per day do you train?” Average is two hours. In the morning I do the OBB strength portion which takes me an hour to an hour and a half, depends how slow I am moving. I go back to the gym late afternoon to work on accessories and maybe do an EMOM of a complex, which is typically just an hour. Two to three times a week I will do the WOD posted; if there’s muscle ups, snatches or handstand pushups, I’m doing it. Yes, I’m a cherry picker.
“How long have you been lifting?” I started CrossFit September 2012, I didn’t start being competitive until about a year later. August 2014, I sent Nicole Capurso a snatch pr video (we always send videos back and forth, to include SWELFIES lol) and she insisted that I register for a local meet because I could potentially qualify for the American Open. It took some convincing but I lifted at a local sanctioned meet a month later and qualified for the American Open as a 53kg lifter. I dropped weight to lift as a 48 and lifted in my first National meet (AO) in December 2014. So I have only been focused on weightlifting for seven months, yes, not even a year. So my friends, this should motivate you that it can happen anytime. How bad do you want it and how hard are you willing to work for it?
“Best way to get pullups.” For strict pullups, besides constant practice, you need to build strength and have decent mobility. If you start off with tight joints and muscles, you might be adding some stress attempting strict pullups. I suggest you check out http://www.livetheactivelife.com/ for mobility tips. For strength, do weighted ring rows and strict banded pullups, try to avoid the kip.
“Best way to gain weight while doing CrossFit with a Power Lifting emphasis” First thing you need to know is how many calories you’re burning in a day of training. Now add 500-1000 calories. You also need to make sure you’re making the smart food choices.
“Compression gear. Yeah or nah, and why?” I say hell yeah. They remove lactic acid faster, delivers oxygen to the muscles better, improves circulation, and it also accelerates recovery time. Right now you can get some awesome Skins compression pants on DoughnutandDeadlifts.com. Use my athlete code- LILRIKI and save 15%.
“Last minute cut for weigh ins” Yes, it happens. I can only speak from personal experience when it comes to last minute cutting before a meet. It’s only to drop the last kilo typically. I start a water cut six days out starting off at about 120 ounces and the day before I only have 20 ounces. I don’t like it, but I have taken scalding hot baths and that helped me drop half a pound in 20 minutes. Like I said, I don’t like the bath because I’m very claustrophobic and I easily panic, so submerging my entire body in boiling hot water is last resort. However, it’s much safer than a sauna. Salt baths, you are dehydrating your skin, saunas dehydrate your organs and make you feel like complete shit if you’re in there for too long—when you’re on a cut. You will recover and rehydrate quicker after weigh ins doing the bath than a sauna. This is last minute stuff though folks. Please please please be smart and use flexible dieting for cuts. Set realistic goals. It took me 4-5 months to drop 20 pounds for the 2014 American Open. It’s the safest way to cut, and I ate whatever I wanted, in moderation.
“Any extra benefits eating paleo while counting macros?” Totally. Don’t get me wrong, paleo is an excellent way to eat. In fact, the true practicing flexible dieters out there eat 80% paleo. Your micronutrients (vitamin and minerals) are just as important as hitting your macronutrients. You know very well if you follow a paleo lifestyle, you will indeed reach those micros.
“How young is too young to start flexible dieting, primarily to lose weight?” I do coach a handful of teens (13-17) using the flexible dieting approach. I have been given written consent by their guardians to be their “nutritional advisor.” The teens that I coach are active and competitive athletes. My competitive level athletes, I make sure they are consuming enough of the right nutrients to fuel their performance, we don’t necessarily have set macros. I tell them not to restrict themselves, they’re growing kids after all. For teens and weight loss, I do have a few and I have developed not only a close relationship with them, but I have one with their guardian. It’s all about trust and knowing who you’re working with. As long as you are helping a teen lose weight because their health is being compromised and you’re going to educate them with food, then I don’t see any problem with that.
There were so many great questions that I still want to answer, but I know I would go off on a tangent. I have written down a lot of your questions to turn in to blog posts; how to gauge refeeds, nutrient timing, supplementation, how to get over mental blocks, the list goes on. Be on the look out!