Lean & Strong?? Lean & Fit?? NOPE – Lean & Clean!
With 12WBT Round 3 finishing last Sunday 4 December that is my 5th round done & dusted. It’s been a really interesting round for me – the challenges were not what I had anticiapted in pre-season when I set my goals and those goals had to be fluid due to unexpected things happening.
I knew at the outset it would be tough because of the big thesis deadlines I had during the round and the hectic work schedule as the academic teaching year came to an end (i.e.l lots of time sitting on my butt, not much sleep and high stress at times). I identified in pre-season that it would probably be a round where there were more days of red flags than not!! Boy, was I on the money with that…. and there were even more red flags that I anticipated!
I started out planning to do Lean & Strong but injured my tailbone around end or pre-season / start of week 1. I landed on it more than once (Maybe 10 times!) trying to do this roll backward thing. That night I spent sitting on a heat pack, gobbling panadiene extra tablets and sobbing from the pain. I was naughty and foolish. I pushed through it and spent weeks taking 1 step forward and 2 steps backward. I mostly blamed all the sitting hunched over the computer that I was doing.
Also, I started to have a good look at my body and really ask “Am I done losing weight”. Looking in the mirror I felt I was starting to look squarer around the middle, less curvey. I was asking some people and trying to talk about it but often was met with “Are you ever going to be happy?” or “Or you have lost 40kg what more do you want?“. So I went quiet about it. I was really confused.
At end of Week 4 I did my measurements and it showed that my waist had not changed but everything else was shrinking. It was not in my head. I decided to speak to my remedial masseur who is an ex-elite athlete & conditioning coach – I knew she would be blunt & scientific about it. I also talked to my PT, Mas,e who did calipers measurements. It was not in my head – there was still more weight to lose, more cardio was the key. I will talk about this ongoing re-evaluation of weight loss goals in a future blog!
So I upped my cardio – or tried to – and was tossing up whether to keep doing Lean and Strong with added cardio or switch to Lean & Fit. I did not end up making that call because my tailbone injury became incredibly bad. I ignored it and pushed on through Weeks 5 – 9, trained only a small amount and spent hours a day working on my thesis – yep, was perfect situation for me to go into denial about how incredibly painful my hips and back were!
Fast forward, eventually it got so bad at end of one PT session I could not get off the floor. Then a few days later I had a long day driving and on my feet, the long drive home I spent in tears from the pain. I went to doctor – pretty much messed up both sacro-iliac joints and all the muscles around my sacrum, lumbar and thoracic spine with messed up. Left with heaps of medications and strict instructions of no training until I was pain free without meds. I negotiated a little and was told I could walk and do very limited upper body exercises – definitely NO legs. Also instructed to get to physio more and start 1 on 1 pilates and keep up the remedial massage. I was more relieved than anything – and embarassed I had put it off so long because I had my head in the sand and blinkers on while focussed on work deadlines – that old workaholic, stresshead me came back for a bit!
I’ve been a fairly adherent patient and my injury has improved lots – only once I was pain free did I realise how much pain I had been in for a few months. Being a long term migraine sufferer I think I have a high tolerance of pain…. and I have realised I can do that ridiculous stoic thing and push through – further punishing my body. Now I am aware of it, as is my PT, we can work to change that. I am working to learn what is ‘good pain’ and what is ‘bad pain’. DOMS = great! Stabbing hip pain = not great! It is hard when you have only been an exerciser for a short time (1 year!) to know when to push through and when to pull back.
Clean eating has been my saviour – the nutrition lessons and mindset lessons have been the foundation of my 12 weeks and the key to my success. Even during hours at the computer, sometimes in tears of frustration about my thesis, I ate clean – strawberries and peppermint tea were my staple snack! I cannot say that I truly followed the 12WBT Lean & Strong or the Lean & Fit program this round. For that reason I have not entered the Lean & Strong competition. Instead I am calling it Lean & Clean! It’s 80% what you put into your body, after all abs are made in the kitchen!
Whether you are injured or have a chronic illness or disability it is not a reason not to embark on a weight loss program. It is 80% what you eat – we can all nail that if we truly are committed to weight loss. Injuries etc are no excuse. I know with proper attention to rehab and building core strength etc I will quickly get back to where I was (Spartan-style!) and be able to push well beyond that in no time. But have to get these foundations in place!
This post is already much longer than I planned – I will do another with my achievements from this round and some pics.