Saturday, December 22, 2012

Project Stage - An Update...

I'm nearly done with my holiday prep. I'm finishing up the menu, planning my grocery trip, and thankful that all my children will be home with me this Christmas. I've spent more time in the malls and shopping centers than I want, lol, and even managed to lose my car this week. Twice. In one day. Yes, I was the crazy lady walking up and down the aisles beeping her key fob to find her car. Yessiree, that was me.

I've managed to get everything wrapped, even Bill's presents - right in front of him. He had no idea. Why? Because my beloved husband has this belief that if he does not make eye contact while I am wrapping, I will not rope him into helping. So I wrap, he watches TV, and he remains clueless of his gifts ;-) Hahahaha.

We also had the opportunity to spend some time with Lauren and her amazing parents. We visited Zoo Lights, and enjoyed catching up and chatting, and of course, cuddling little Lauren. It's hard to believe she's 7 months old now. She is a doll, and they are such a beautiful family. Truly beautiful. We are so very blessed.

PROJECT STAGE (lol) is going well. I started several weeks back with a focus on improving my cardio/endurance. Check. Next was an emphasis on light lifting - basically general rehab (shoulder, back, knee are all weak from what's gone on). Check. Then I entered my current build phase. I increased my weight lifting to a 5 day split (was at 3 days), and began to taper off my cardio. I just completed my 2nd week on this, and was able to increase all my weights! Woot!

I weighed in today for the first time in 4 weeks. I'm up almost 6 lbs, and down nearly 2% body fat. Even though I know it's on purpose, it's still hard to see the pounds go up. My clothes all fit the same - well, my everyday clothes - jeans, t's, etc. I dressed tonight for dinner out, and discovered that while I can still button my dress slacks, I cannot sit comfortably in them. lol. Sigh.

This initial build phase will last 4 more weeks (total of 6 weeks), then I'll begin to add cardio back in, change my food, and enter the lean-out process (total of 6 weeks). I am attending the Arnold in Ohio, and don't want to look like I'm bulking, haha, so that's why my first build phase is a bit shorter than normal. Leaning out for March, though, will also help me fine-tune my plan moving forward. I'll build up, then strip it down and see what I've got to work with, then plan accordingly.

My strength has improved (yay!), and best of all, my shoulder is cooperating. By that I mean that though I have constant pain, I am able to exercise and have even increased my range of motion. My upper body workouts depend heavily on cables - and I'm pleased to be seeing consistent progress. I'm training shoulders and legs twice a week, as those are my weak areas. Monday is leg day, Tuesday is back/biceps, Wednesday is chest/triceps/shoulders, Thursday is legs, Friday is shoulders. Abs are worked to varying degrees in every workout.

My diet is still high protein, with moderate carbs and fats. So far so good. I'll be making some changes in the next couple weeks.  I'll be increasing my calories - I know I need to but I hate the thought of deliberately gaining weight. I'm such a girl, lol. While it might seem easy to 'bulk' during the holidays when food is so plentiful, that's not the case. Bulking weight can't be dessert weight, lol. Every bite and sip still count. Each one has the power to either help me or hinder me. Therefore, my food (per usual) is clean, with a weekly treat meal to provide balance and metabolic confusion.

I still don't know which show I'll be competing in. With the wedding date not set, I can't choose one yet. My original plan was to hit the OCB show in August, then the NPC show two weeks later in September, but Shiloh and Jared are thinking Aug/Sept might be the best for the wedding... Show prep and wedding planning do NOT blend, lol. So I might end up waiting until the Spring shows (2014). I'm ok with however it works out. The longer I have to build, the better. (Though you can be darn sure that I'll be leaning out for the wedding, haha!)

So that's news here in my little corner of the world. I hope the holiday season is bringing you joy and blessings.

Happy Weekend!

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