Posts tagged squats
Perspective: You Are Not a Number

Dear internet, you never cease to supply me with an endless stream of information, cat memes (you know you love them!), and differing perspectives on the female body. Each day we are bombarded with differing messages about what the “ideal” female should/is/has to be. First, it was skinny - you know, thigh gaps (wtf), thin arms, and tiny waist. Now it’s “strong” and by strong, they mean “lean”. You know what I’m talking about - the dreaded and utterly moronic world of “fitspo”.

[oh hey look, it's skinny with abs]

I could wax on poetically about my feelings on fitspo but this post really captures all of my feelings and says it better than I ever could. Basically, we get sold the same message just repackaged with OMGabz. We all get told that our self worth is directly related to how many visible abs we have and our body fat percentage. At this point, most people are beginning to see through it, but the notion that self worth = abs is still going strong. We rally and protest with our little virtual picket signs saying “F*ck aesthetics! Get strong!”. We boast about how awesome it is to chuck the scale and focus on our squat numbers instead (and it IS awesome); but in all of our rahrahrahing about barbells and massive deadlifts, we miss the point. Equating our self worth to our back squat isn’t any better than equating our self worth with our body fat percentage or the size of our jeans. Our self-worth should not be tied to a number.

[wedding dress 2 years later - too big at 10lbs heavier after I chucked the scale and focused on getting strong]

The big shiny spotlight of the fitness world has given the general public, and especially women, a glimpse into the weight room and that is FANTASTIC. Generally, women have accepted, or at least will pay lipservice, to the fact the “weights make you bulky” myth is just that - a myth. The majority of women still won’t engage in serious weight training because deep down, they still believe that weights = bulky BUT at least they are willing to admit that logically, it doesn’t make much sense. For some women, it got us to pick up a barbell and never look back. And that truly makes my heart happy.

However, in the process of “Yay! Barbells! Squats! Pressing!”, I think it’s easy to get hung up on what we haven’t achieved. Instead of worrying about the number on the scale or our jean size, we obsess over our back squat & clean and jerks. We stop feeling good about ourselves because we haven’t achieved as much as that other girl who can deadlift 2x her bodyweight. We mentally beat ourselves up because we aren’t as fast, strong, or powerful as we want to be. We grow impatient and forget to trust the process - we want that number and we want it now. Now, reread those last few sentences and replace the words “thin” “skinny” “body fat”, etc. in place of things like “deadlift”, “strong”, and “powerful”. It sounds pretty familiar, right?

And when we get to this place, this is when we need a little perspective.


It’s tough to not feel like your max lifts make you a bad/good/happy person when you spend a good chunk of your time thinking about them, planning how to reach them, and then training for them. (P.S. I don’t think this is limited to strength athletes/sports - I would argue it applies to most passionate recreational athletes in any sport). It should be FUN - yes, there are days/weeks when it doesn’t seem very “fun” but you should still derive some sort of pleasure from it. And someone, somewhere is saying “yeah but I’ve got goals and I have to do x,y,z to reach them and I have to be so dedicated, committed, other value laden word here, to reach them”. I get that - I’ve got goals too - and yeah, you're going to feel on top of the world when you achieve them and you will feel like shit when you go for them and miss (and then you regroup, replan, and try again). But that magic number shouldn’t define how you feel about yourself - you are not your clean & jerk max. Take a second to look back over the past month, year, etc. and appreciate your progress.

For example, I’m going to squat 300lbs. There is no “I’m going to try” or “maybe I will do this” - I am going to and I've got no doubt in my mind about that. I will be extremely excited about it and feel happy when it happens (and I'll feel pretty bad if I go for it and miss)...but that 300# won’t solve all my problems. Furthermore, squatting 300 is not going to happen right now and that’s ok. The fact that that goal is even in the realm of possibility is major progress for a girl who's old max was 135 x 3. I refuse to feel shitty about myself because I “only” squatted 190 for 5 or whatever the number is - that’s no better than me saying “yeah, well I’m not happy yet because I’m not 15% body fat”. The mentality is the same, we’ve just subbed counting plates for counting calories. So next time you find yourself qualifying your achievements with a “oh but it was only this” or reducing yourself down to a number, stop and get a little perspective.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Let's discuss a few of the things that I'm loving lately!

PurePharma: I've talked about PurePharma before but they deserve another mention. I ran out my M3, D3, & O3 the other day and I can tell a HUGE difference in my recovery and sleep without them. Seriously, the M3 has done wonders for my quality of sleep and the O3 has helped my recovery in a big way. I've used a myriad of different vitamins/supplements and I can say that PurePharma's are the best. I must order more ASAP! You can order some too by clicking the ad in the sidebar (disclaimer: I'm an affiliate of PurePharma, affiliate links).

UnderArmour top: I could live in this shirt! It's super comfy and is quickly going to become a summertime staple. I've gotten lots of compliments on it and have been telling everyone to pick one up! (disclaimer: I was sent the shirt & a pair of shoes from Under Armour in exchange for working on the #whatsbeautiful campaign).

True Nutrition custom protein powder: Since moving more towards weightlifting and less WOD-ing, I've been looking for a protein powder that has high level of protein and less carbs/sugars. I had heard of True Nutrition and their custom mixes before so I decided to make a mix and try it out. All I can say is - AMAZING. The mix I've been using has 50% beef isolate, 25% grass-fed whey, & 25% native milk protein isolate and I think it has been super helpful in helping me make gains in the gym. They also offer TONS of flavors, stevia or sucralose sweetened options, and you can add tons of things to your mix. I've had a few people ask about protein powders with low/no sugar, special ingredients, etc. so check them out if you looking for something different! (No disclaimer here, I've bought this with my own money and just thought I would share some info!)

OH and I squatted 185 for 5 reps this morning. I need to work on my depth but they felt much better technique-wise. Also, I need to buy my own belt - I use one at the gym but it's a bit big. Recommendations?


Happy Friday everyone! Is it wine o clock yet?

Instagram Truths: Vacation Edition

Since this post seemed to be pretty popular, I thought I would make it a regular occurrence. I was planning on posting a recipe but since I'm catching up from vacation & trying to resist a cold my diet ha mostly consisted of chicken soup and emergen-c. Anyways, lets get on with it! 20130320-085837.jpg

Caption: "Have weightlifting shoes & snacks, will travel"

Truth: My weightlifting shoes wouldn't fit in my obnoxiously stuffed suitcase and I take snacks everywhere with me.


Caption: "Wednesday family vacation things"

Truth: One glass of wine, one margarita, and one shot of whiskey over the course of 5 hours made me feel slightly hungover the next day. Why am I such a lightweight now?!


Caption: "Putting in the work on vacation. Also, I hate jerks"

Truth: I do hate jerks but only because I'm NOT good at them. Also, I'm extremely glad I found a place to drop-in at - my husband actually came with this day and kept my company. I think that was the first time he has actually seen me lift.


Caption: "OMG. Sea salt caramel fudge"

Truth: IT WAS JUST AS AMAZING AS IT SOUNDS. I only ate a few bites (the extra salty ones) but could have easily eaten the whole thing if it wasn't hot out and it wasn't melty. Also, those giant salt crystals made my sweet/salty loving self so happy. Also, may be one of my most liked photos on instagram - ha!


Caption: "Oh. yes."

Truth: No trip to the west coast is complete without In-N-Out. I had a protein style double burger and a few fries. It was GLORIOUS.


Caption: "Just had one of the best hot stone massages ever. Funny moment: gal who was working on me said "your legs are SOLID". Thanks squats"

Truth: That massage was ah-mazing. Also, the girl who worked on me may have a laughed at how many knots I had in my legs and back. Also, all heavy jerk sessions should be followed up by massages. It should be law.


Caption: "170x5 back squat DONE. Doing work on vacation"

Truth: I was so frustrated because I had come to squat earlier but couldn't so I had to come back. Frustration = good squatting and cleaning. That last rep was also the longest rep of my life - it seriously felt like it took minutes.


Caption: "Mango margaritas are the ultimate post heavy clean, heavy squats & strict press recovery drink"

Truth: That IS truth. Especially when they're homemade and you have two of them. YUM.


Caption: "Happy birthday to my awesome Mom!"

Truth: You are never too old for pinatas and that gluten-free chocolate cake was delicious.


Caption: "Mexican food for our Chicago layover. So so so delicious!"

Truth: I love when I have a layover in Chicago because it means I get to eat Frontera. Also, I'm pretty sure I ate my bodyweight in chips and guacamole on this trip. It was worth it.


Caption: "Traveling the day after heavy cleans, squats, and strict press means wearing compression socks in the airport and eating everything including this super yummy Kind bar."

Truth: When you put compression socks on in the middle of the airport, the lady sitting across from you will look at you like you're a weirdo. Also, iced coffee is necessary but made me realize how much I dislike Starbucks and prefer my local coffee (yes, I'm a coffee snob). Also, I ate that Kind bar about 15 minutes after finishing lunch. Seriously, squats make me eat all the things.


So that's it! I will pop in later in the week with a recipe. Now I'm off to chug Emergen-C...