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Hi, I'm Lady Morbuks and I'm a work in progress. I'm your classic "old lady nerd": I love sewing, baking, British TV, etc. The original Star Trek is the best one. I am a cinephile and watch at least 4 movies per week. I'm a cis woman, 35, weight about 20 lb higher than I might ideally wish, but that's more of a bonus if I drop pounds than a Super Important Goal. My Super Important Goal is to be overall as healthy as I can reasonably be without driving myself crazy or getting injured.

I have been regularly working out for several years, but have meandered from activity to activity until I recently starting strength training according to the book The New Rules of Lifting For Women (Schuler). I am lucky to have an athletically-inclined husband, and we really help each other stay on track with working out. I am an introvert who hates working out in groups; I get way too competitive even when it's not a competition, and endlessly compare myself with others = a recipe for emotional disaster. Happily, I figured this out long ago and just avoid group exercise activities. I am pretty happy with a podcast and 45 minutes on an elliptical, or working through a strength training circuit in my living room with my adjustable dumbbells.

I am gym-friendly, but can't quite afford it right now due to saving for other things, so I'm a little concerned that I won't be able to progress to higher weights without joining a gym and my best option (location, etc.) is $50/month. Boo. I'm also not sure whether to invest in some sessions with a personal trainer to show me correct form first, or if I can just teach myself out of a book...classic nerd move, baby! I would love guidance on that from my more seasoned warrior comrades :)

I have great attention to detail, I'm good at listening to my body, and I'm very serious about avoiding injury. Ain't nobody got time for that. I always push myself really hard (too hard) when I work out; there is no "practice setting" apparently, as I learned when doing muay thai for several months. It's very hard for me to dial it down, which is a double-edged sword. If I had a sword, I'd probably swing it too hard, too.  

My biggest challenge is nutrition. I grew up with pretty constant food guilt programming, and that embedded deep, so I'm still working to crow bar it out of my thinking. I'm an omnivore and buy/eat organic when I can. I'm interested in cutting carbs, but I hate the idea of punishing, self-denying, backfiring diets. As a feminist, I'm very suspicious of diet culture and body image, so I probably used that as an excuse for what I call my "fuck you, system, I'm going in for hedonism" approach to eating/drinking. Not terribly effective in the long run! That's what drew me to NF, the cheerful, practical approach to nutrition, because that's what I need more of in my approach to food. I'm coming out of a dry January and losing a few pounds, which is fun, and I'm finding sobriety intriguingly pleasant. I'm also a "rationalizer", e.g. well I worked out super hard, so I get an extra cocktail/piece of pizza/five cookies, etc.

Like I said, a work in progress!

Edited to add: whenever people ask why I work out, I say 2 reasons: sanity and vanity. I need the stress reduction (and resulting improved mental health) and I like making my body look different. Check out these cookies, sugar!

 

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6 hours ago, Lady Morbuks said:

I hate the idea of punishing, self-denying, backfiring diets. As a feminist, I'm very suspicious of diet culture and body image, so I probably used that as an excuse for what I call my "fuck you, system, I'm going in for hedonism" approach to eating/drinking. Not terribly effective in the long run! That's what drew me to NF, the cheerful, practical approach to nutrition, because that's what I need more of in my approach to food. I'm coming out of a dry January and losing a few pounds, which is fun, and I'm finding sobriety intriguingly pleasant. I'm also a "rationalizer", e.g. well I worked out super hard, so I get an extra cocktail/piece of pizza/five cookies, etc.

Like I said, a work in progress!

 

 

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I feel this. I enjoyed a couple of years of evil diets (main ingredient: self hatred) and the mad backlash eating they prompted. I also went through a phase (after quitting diets) of eating mostly oreos. But that was a deliberate choice in my very winding intuitive eating journey. They recommended a period of totally permissive eating for people who had been recently dieting. I keep intending to do their thing "gentle nutrition" but I instead find myself veering between obsessive nutrition and junk. Gotta find that balance.
 

6 hours ago, Lady Morbuks said:

I am gym-friendly, but can't quite afford it right now due to saving for other things, so I'm a little concerned that I won't be able to progress to higher weights without joining a gym and my best option (location, etc.) is $50/month. Boo. I'm also not sure whether to invest in some sessions with a personal trainer to show me correct form first, or if I can just teach myself out of a book...classic nerd move, baby! I would love guidance on that from my more seasoned warrior comrades :)


Is new rules of lifting for women dumbbells, bands and stuff you can do at home? I think you can definitely learn enough by yourself to get started. Especially if you're not doing big heavy barbell lifts, which I feel require a bit more attention to form. But if something isn't working, I guess having someone look at it in person could really help. And obviously, you should stop if anything hurts. Hmmm, I should take my own advice and get a trainer to look at my squat. 

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On 2/21/2020 at 7:37 PM, Harriet said:

evil diets (main ingredient: self hatred)

 

@Harriet Ha ha ha ha ha omg yes. Yet somehow companies find a way to get people to pay for self hatred, even when we can all enjoy it for free...

NROLFW is mostly stuff you can do at home, with dumbbell alternatives when barbells are indicated, which is pretty rare. I just finished stage 5 of 7, and I've been doing it since July 2019, and I'm so happy to have stuck with a single program for so long. That said, as I increase my resistance I anticipate that in about 3 months I will have maxed out my excellent adjustable dumbbells (they're 50 lb each) on deadlifts. I'm 5'9" & 215 lbs, built like a curvy Viking, so I feel like my capacity to lift could be really great, and I'm excited to stick with it long term. My nerdiness is activated at recording all the little improvements systematically.

I definitely have a few months to progress before I need to gym it, as I'm very comfortable with all of the exercises in NROLFW so far, I just want to make sure I 1) don't make a fool of myself when I pick up a proper barbell, and 2) don't injure myself with lousy posture or something. Nobody I know lifts, so I don't have a network (except NF!!) to get somebody to teach me in exchange for homemade cake.

I like NROLFW, it's been a really great starting point. No resistance bands, mostly bodyweight & dumbbells. Lots of interesting squats, which I like. It seems really sound.

Also, major applause for Intuitive Eating! Great book. Really helped me figure out that when I eat a pile of luscious tater tots, my body feels crummy after, which I often forget beforehand. I find that when I really, really listen, all my body wants is steak, greens, and booze. 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Thanks for your reply, means a lot!

 

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11 hours ago, Lady Morbuks said:

@HarrietI'm 5'9" & 215 lbs, built like a curvy Viking, so I feel like my capacity to lift could be really great, and I'm excited to stick with it long term. My nerdiness is activated at recording all the little improvements systematically.

 

Excellent, excellent. 

 

Okay, so you ARE going to move on to barbells, though, and you don't have a trainer or lifty-friend IRL. In that case, I can recommend reading either starting strength (more technical and wordy) or the stronglifts 5x5 guide to technique (simpler but plenty of info on form) and alan thrall's youtube videos on how to (deadlift, squat, bench). IF you wanted to totally geek out, you could read Greg Nuckols' massive guides on the big lifts on StrongerbyScience. But obviously, don't get sucked in to thinking you NEED to read everything before starting. 

My only strong safety recommends are: set the safety pins at the correct height for your squat. And don't bench alone (and don't adjust your grip AFTER you unrack for the bench... if you got the grip or your position wrong, rack it and try again, obv.)

Then maybe the gym staff will watch you do everything once just to make sure it's okay? Kinda depends on the gym, but it's worth asking. Then if your gym allows it, you can video yourself lifting and post it in the powerlifting form check forum, where more experienced warriors than myself will hopefully chime in and let you know if anything is obviously wrong.

 

Good luck! Barbells are the hammer. 

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@Harriet Thank you so much for the excellent advice! I will definitely check out those books. I really appreciate the perspective, as I don't want my trepidation to keep me from moving forward, but I also wasn't sure if just books + good sense could get me started with the barbell. I really like the infinite quest aspect of lifting, with so many incremental increases and a bajillion variations.

It's always fun when someone says, "are you sure that's not too heavy?!" and I can say, "oh, not at all, this is why I work out."

Superb tips, thank you, Madame Ambassador!

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