It took over a month, but I finally finished Phase 4 for the New Rules of Lifting for Women program. 4th of July holiday gave me a week off and an incredibly hectic schedule cut my lifting days down to 2 a week (some weeks only 1!).
And now I'm starting to see the rather unfortunate effects of that. I haven't taken new measurements, but I'm fairly certain they would have gone up. The scale was hovering around 159 in the past 2 weeks, but this weekend of travel, a wedding, traveling back and trying to submit a proposal for work by 11:59pm on Monday night had me eating fast food or restaurant food just about every meal. And now I'm at 163! ACK!!! I know its probably water retention, but it frustrates me slightly that I'm veering off track half way through the program.
I knew 7 phases would be long, but I saw really amazing progress between Phase 1-3. Then towards the end of 3 and all through 4, I slacked off and summer hit. My strength has at least gotten a bit better, I've continued to increase my weight on most exercises, but my inches haven't shrunk and the scale has inched up a pound or two. I think this needs to be a bit of a wake up call to get back on track so I can really see some results by the end of all 7 phases. I still want a flatter stomach and toned arms, but right now there's extra fat hiding all my hard work with the weights.
So coming up for Phase 5, I have a few goals.
1.) Get the scale back down to a reasonable number (156-158) through cleaner eating and less junk food/fast food/extra treats etc. Yes, it's summer and I really love the local custard ice cream from Del Ray, but things like that need to be a treat and not something we do every time. My weekends are still going to be busy, but I really need to focus on not letting myself go during the week too.
2.) Start to cook my dinners again. I've been cheating and having a protein shake as my dinner lately because I don't want to cook. While it's OK on occasion, it's probably not good to replace every dinner with it. I'm going to make healthy chicken breast with some veggies or quinoa or something.
3.) Get to the gym or workout 4 days a week MINIMUM! And I want to try to be more active on the weekends with my boyfriend, go kayaking or for a walk in DC or something that gets us up and moving. It'll benefit the both of us. I'm not going to see results from NROLFW if I can't get at least 2 strength workouts in a week, 3 is preferable.
4.) Stop the excuses. I know perfectly well what I'm doing. I know how many calories I'm eating, I know when I make bad choices, when I choose to nap instead of working out. Those aren't going to make me happier with myself unless I do something positive to change it.
And here's a few highlights from Phase 4 with strength progress.
Deadlift - 115lbs to 135 lbs
Underhand lateral pulldown - 105lbs to 115lbs
Step ups - 30 lbs per hand using a box that goes up to my knees to 15 lbs per hand on a box that goes halfway up my thighs (it's a BIG step up!)
Front squat/push press - 55lbs to 60 lbs
Dumbbell prone Cuban snatch - 15 lbs per arm to 20 lbs per arm