Welcome to a tale of 20-20 hindsight!! A decision has been made, and those of you who know me in real life might be pretty happy about it. I’m only 5’3.5″ tall and hover around 123-128lbs normally depending on the time of day, how much water I’ve chugged etc. Most people’s weight will fluctuate throughout the day – I have been known to have variances as large as 5-6 lbs in 24hrs, and not look or feel different. The problem is WHY I know this. About 6 months prior to attending the 2010 Orlando RKC workshop I decided to see if I’d be able to naturally be 123.5 or below without a fight. Turns out that yes, I was – at the time I weighed about 125 or so and wasn’t eating as strategically as I am now – still going out for giant plates of restaurant made chicken Marsala on top of whole wheat pasta that I would eat in its entirety. Going out for pizza and salad, etc. Not taking the buns off of burgers and eating a whole lot of buckwheat (which I would bake up with eggs/yogurt/cheese from the neat Ukrainian recipe and still occasionally enjoy). Hadn’t gone Primal/Paleo yet so there was quite a bit of leeway – even with my body fat percentage within the “athletic” range, calories could be cut back a little with ease and without any real effort. So for 6 months I held steady at around 120lbs. Weighed in at 119.6, passed the snatch test with the 12kg kettlebell and then immediately began to snacking. (on stuff like this: Chocolatey Pecan Date Coconut Treats never should have given the food processor to my neighbor…)
After the RKC, I discovered by accident (Hey Alicia, what’s this tasty looking cookbook you have on this table at the health fair?! Can I borrow it?!) the Primal Blueprint plan. I borrowed it because all the recipes made me hungry… and I felt LOADS better eating this way – cutting out grains, some dairy and focusing on unprocessed good foods. I was already a meat snob so why not?! Without meaning to, I dropped a random 3lbs and was visibly much more lean – but in a good way. In order to keep up with my workouts and crazy schedule I upped the portions and was still very happy with what was going on – the weight loss dropped off and I put the random 3lbs back on, but was significantly stronger and fitting into even smaller clothes. This continued, and I just went ahead and got rid of my scale when I moved out of my previous apartment.
Life got crazy, I kept up with training, kept up with eating well but “heavy” (my word for supplementing the day’s food with a lot of healthy fats). Then my little dog died unexpectedly and out of utter despair, for a couple weeks I did whatever I wanted (this just translates into eating fistfuls of nuts and dark chocolate and lifting more heavy things). Once again, got stronger, maybe gained a random pound or two. Then… as the RKC Level 2 workshop approached, I panicked – oh no 125-128lbs! Have to get down under 123.5 so I can use the 12kg kettlebell!!! But, unlike before, there wasn’t much leeway left in my diet – other than the insane snacking – which for my activity level turned out to be necessary. So I started to cut back on the snacking and portion size – thinking it wasn’t any big deal. I was also training for the Iron Maiden Challenge – which was another good reason not to drop weight – I had gotten a LOT stronger in the months since the October 2010 RKC, and what was left of me was pretty much all essential. Besides, when I weighed in at the RKC2 at 121.6lbs this time there was a lot of “oh geez… REALLY” sentiment – especially after David Whitley saw me press the 24kg kettlebell – it was a litany of “you’re going heavier because I know you can”.
After talking to some very accomplished new friends in the RKC community this week it dawned on me – what’s this all about? Why have I always tried to do the snatch test with the 12kg kettlebell? Because I was afraid of even having a slight chance of failure, because I’m “close enough to 123.5lbs anyway”, because I’m small, because… I hadn’t really seriously tried it?! In the rush of my other training, somehow I hadn’t gotten around to trying the test with the 16kg kettlebell. Pardon me… time to go to make “duuuuhhhh” faces into a mirror. I can do the test with the 12kg kettlebell with 1-1.5 mins to spare depending on personal choice that day, it’s not a problem, how far off was the 16kg test? As of this afternoon… not far at all – and when I try it outside with a better kettlebell – the 16kg ones I have at the moment are an inferior unnamed brand… with an odd coating that doesn’t get along with my hands for high rep exercises. But even with those excuses I was able to safely complete 100 snatches (60 before stopping to check my hands for damage), then the remaining 40 with sock sleeves at a slower pace (they drive me nuts). I gave up the delightful snacking for this? …Could have done this… and not gotten all cross-eyed and spacey a couple times too. Who knows, maybe I could have even gotten the Iron Maiden 24kg weighted pull up. But the past is the past and the lesson is learned.
The RKC is a school of strength, and I need to set a better example for my clients (who I should have listened to when they said things like “You’re getting even MORE vascular?!” which probably meant “Uhhh what are you doing? Are you eating enough?”). For as much as I bash “women’s magazine diets” and that “toning” mentality, the logical solution is to just get stronger. The irony is that I won’t look much different if at all – might be a little smarter too – so watch out!
Wore this today to try and get rid of that darned “tank top tan” but shows how at 126lbs I probably should’t try to get under 123.5 again.