Archive for month: December, 2015

Eight weeks post-show.

Today marks eight full weeks since I last stepped on the bikini stage.

It’s been nearly two months since OCB Nationals, which took place on October 24th in Laurel, Maryland. I competed in bikini class B and won, which made me eligible to turn pro. Good news – I’m drug-free, and am now officially an IFPA bikini pro. Woohoo!

Side shot courtesy of my friend Karey Northington who helped me with stage presence

Side shot from Laurel, Maryland

As a quick recap, I only spent six weeks in a caloric deficit leading up to this show. (I also ate a Snickers bar everyday for 10 weeks straight, but that’s besides the point of this post.) I was able to do this because I spent much of the year prior staying sufficiently fueled but also staying relatively lean. My bodyweight hovered at max five pounds above last year’s stage weight, so I didn’t have too much bodyfat to lose this time around.

As well, during the short period of time I did diet down, my dietary adherence was high – I would estimate in the 97% and above range. I practiced flexible dieting, meaning I didn’t place any foods off limits, and I adhered to a prescribed set of macronutrient numbers custom set to my unique individual needs. (You can learn more about how to do that by picking up a copy of my e-book, The Beginner’s Guide to Macros.)

It was an interesting experience, all in all. I love the thrill of competing – of getting dolled up and stepping on stage and showcasing my hard work – and obviously, placing well and winning a trophy is just icing on the bikini cake. I should also note that I was able to lose bodyfat at a higher calorie intake while simultaneously doing less exercise (both in the way of less volume in the weight room plus the absence of any formal cardio) than ever before, and I also came in at my all-time leanest. That’s pretty neat, if you ask me, and I suspect that this may have a lot to do with the fact that I spent the majority of the year chasing strength rather than dilly-dallying in the gym.

Winning my height class at 2015 OCB Nationals - and completely in shock!

Winning my height class at 2015 OCB Nationals – and completely in shock!

Huzzah.

I look ecstatic in that picture, don’t I? And don’t get me wrong – I absolutely was. But I was also feeling incredibly depleted, low energy, and cranky as all hell. Being a caloric deficit for any length of time has a way of zapping your mojo and your juices.

Contest prep was fun in a lot of ways, but exhausting in so many more. I necessarily had to make some sacrifices in order to stay compliant with my nutrition program and make sure I never missed a workout. Passing up opportunities to go out for a drink with your friends or try the latest tapas bar eventually starts to wear on you. And despite what social media may tell you, dieting down is far from glamorous.

Here's an Instagram post that I wrote three days before my show documenting just how crummy I was feeling. The contest prep struggle is real.

Here’s an Instagram post that I wrote three days before my show documenting just how crummy I was feeling.

I distinctly remember the week before my show, I was lying on my couch (of which I was spending ample time doing in the days leading up to my competition due to my lethargy) and contemplating the possibility of doing still another show six weeks later. I was already stage-lean, I reasoned, so it wouldn’t be too much more work to continue doing what I was doing for just a little longer until right before the holidays rolled around. Seemed like perfect timing.

But I wasn’t thriving. Very un-Sohee-like.

I was eating, yes, albeit not very much; I was lifting, though my workouts weren’t anything to write home about; and I was absolutely, undeniably not thriving. In fact, I was riding shotgun on the struggle bus. More like #eatliftstruggle.

Womp womp.

Coming to this realization helped me snap out of the haze of contest prep brain fog. No show is worth feeling like absolute shit for – not to me, anyway. Besides, competing to me is just a hobby, not the bane of my existence. And I’ve always been careful not to let the world of fitness selfies and ab checks consume me whole.

Which leads me to the point of this post.

We’re two months into my offseason, and I feel amazing. As far as nutrition, I carefully reverse dieted out of my caloric deficit for the first month following my show and then transitioned over to intuitive eating. I’d estimate my calorie intake to be between 1600-1800 on most days.

Here’s what I look like now:

Eight weeks post-show.

Eight weeks post-show. Sorry, I don’t do ass shots.

My bodyweight is hovering between two to three pounds above stage weight, my waist has gone up half an inch, my ass has grown an inch and a half (hooray!). My strength in the gym continues to go up every week, and I’ve been having the time of my life setting PRs like it’s going out of style.

I’m noticeably less lean (when you’re 5’2″, even two pounds can make a big difference on your frame) and simultaneously slightly more muscular. I’m constantly amused by the changes in my physique, and I embrace the return of my curves.

Over the next few months, my bodyweight may or may not continue to slowly creep up. If it doesn’t, cool; if it does, it’s all gravy. I have absolutely zero problem with the weight gain because it’s been the result of memorable experiences I’ve had that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I lovingly dub these “Quality of Life pounds”.

Quality of life pounds from quality of life calories.

These extra few pounds on my frame are impromptu chicken wing outings, BBQ pulled pork nachos with girlfriends, and late night gelato expeditions. They’re a-little-too-much (but totally worth it!) ice cream and apple pie at Cat’s Thanksgiving dinner, make-you-moan filet mignon dripping with garlic butter, and evening crispy dumplings scarfed down over the counter.

BBQ pulled pork nachos. Not a single calorie was counted.

BBQ pulled pork nachos. Not a single calorie was counted.

These are moments that I don’t get to have when I’m busy meticulously tracking poverty macros. These are memories that are difficult to make – and even more difficult to enjoy – when I’m distracted by gnawing hunger.

Instead of counting calories, I’m collecting memories.
Rather than worrying about seeing the scale weight go down, I’m focusing on feeling good in the skin I’m already in. 

And I sleep very, very soundly at night.

Don’t misunderstand me: I have no issues with macro tracking itself, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with dieting when done for the right reasons and via the right means. Some people choose to count their macros all year long and they’re perfectly happy doing so – and that’s great! For me personally, I like to take a mental break from it every now and then and prioritize other aspects of my life for a while. There’s always a time and a place.

Here are the pros of being in the offseason:

  • I’m setting PRs seemingly nonstop – can I get a HYFR?
  • I’ve got more junk in the trunk. This means more to grab and my booty becomes an extra cushiony pillow for my three year-old chunky hunky pug, Ollie.
  • I don’t have to fret when I go out to eat at a restaurant, and I don’t stress out over whether a meal has 700 or 750 calories. It really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
  • My energy levels are through the roof, which means I’m feeling better and overall more pleasant to be around.

And the cons of being in the offseason:

  • My grocery bill is slightly higher than before.

Do I think being stage lean is worth it? Maybe. Depends on the individual, to be honest. I don’t think it’s good for those who need to use it as an excuse to get in shape or who compete in show after show out of fear of gaining body fat. And for me, I have no interest in doing more than one show per season.

I also don’t believe that the offseason should be used as a reason to become a glutton. You may have noticed that I’m still staying pretty lean, and that’s because I don’t bounce from one extreme to the other. I don’t bulk; I simply eat more calories and get stronger in the gym. If I crack open a pint of gelato, I don’t feel the need to devour the whole thing just to finish it off. If I order fries, I can leave some on the plate. Moderation is nice like that.

Will I ever go on a diet again? Maybe so, but not in the foreseeable future. I’m done with being in diet mode 365 days of the year, getting nowhere and making myself miserable for no worthwhile reason. I’m lean enough, I’m healthy, and having fun with my life – these are the things that are truly important to me. #priorities

I am not my physique.

Having a slightly higher body fat percentage does not make me less than. While scale weight is important to an extent (in that it can provide information on how you’re doing when taken into proper context), it’s not the be-all-end-all. I’ve never had a loved one see me with a little bit of extra weight, look me up and down, and decide right then and there that I wasn’t worth loving anymore.

I don’t fret. Maybe I don’t fit into those size-24 jeans anymore, but so what?

If you’re struggling to wrap your mind about not being in diet mode, may I challenge you to a shift in perspective?

The grass isn’t always greener – it really, really isn’t.

Dieting will always be there. But your time and your friendships and your relationships? Those are precious.

So enjoy your time off. Smash those weights in the gym and brag about your deadlifting numbers. Savor every bite of those IHOP pancakes and welcome the extra calories.

Go on and embrace the offseason.

HYFR.

A delicious Korean dinner. What are the macros? Who cares!

We all have that one friend – the one who makes regular exercise and proper nutrition a priority in her life. She loves nothing more than to discuss the latest and greatest with what she’s doing in the gym and keep everyone updated on all the morsels of food she consumes on any given day.

At first, we may find it amusing – admirable, even. Look at Judy, so dedicated to her health! Look at Judy go, waking up an hour earlier in the morning so she can squeeze in her workout before the day begins – and then telling us about every single exercise she performed. Look at her spending extra time scouring the menu at our favorite restaurant to find the most macro-friendly meal. We lean in closer as she explains why she’s not eating the top bun of the turkey burger she’s ordered. We oooh and aaah as she goes on about portion sizes and how some days she’ll have four slices of Ezekiel bread instead of two depending on whether or not she worked out.

We’re intrigued. All that discipline! Much knowledge. If only we could all be a little more like her.

But after a while, it starts to wear on us. We can’t even put a glass of Riesling to our lips before she shrieks out But what are the macros in that wine and how do we log it? If she can’t find a restaurant menu online before heading out, she decides that she’d rather stay in and cook up her own meal at home – you know, for security reasons. She goes out of her way to audibly guess the macronutrient content of everything everyone’s eating whether we ask for it or not.

It’s exasperating, damnit. Judy, do you mind? We’re trying to enjoy ourselves here, not argue whether last night’s potstickers were cooked in three tablespoons of oil or four.

What are the macros of this amazing Korean meal? Not sure, but let's not talk about that tonight.

What are the macros of this amazing Korean meal? Not sure, but let’s not talk about that tonight.

Obviously, the title of this post is mostly tongue-in-cheek. Macronutrient consumption does absolutely matter – as does total calorie intake – particularly if you are actively working toward shedding bodyfat. I’m not denying that by any means. And yes, as a fat loss coach, it is technically my job to “give a shit” about your macros. Please hear me out.

I’m also not denying that there is a time and a place to be meticulously tracking macros and adhering to prescribed protein, carb, and fat numbers. (I even wrote an e-book all about it, for cryin’ out loud!) But it’s entirely possible to be dedicated to your nutrition program (or not!), attend social functions and mentally guestimate the macro content of what you eat (or not!), and not have to give the whole world an unsolicited play-by-play.

(See related: To Macro or Not: Should You Track Your Macronutrient Intake?)

This much we’ve already established in the #eatliftthrive community:

  • Calories in vs. calories out determines whether bodyweight is gained or lost.
  • When it comes to nutrition, total calorie intake matters above all, followed next by macronutrient breakdown of said calories.
  • Consistent dietary adherence is paramount in achieving your physique goals. In other words, the best nutrition program in the world will do nothing for you if you are unable to stick to it over the long haul.

Here’s a great video by Eric Helms going over the nutrition pyramid:

Unless you’re deep in the throes of preparing for a bodybuilding contest and you’re within weeks of stepping on stage, or unless you’re a professional athlete whose livelihood is contingent upon making weight, it’s not worth fretting over one social function, or even one meal.

I know individuals who “brag” about routinely ditching their friends and missing out on amazing restaurant food because the idea of having to eyeball portion sizes sends them into a frenzy. And yes, it can get addicting, and maybe for now you’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing that you were able to control your macronutrient intake down to the very gram. Considering the long-term costs to this kind of behavior, however – particularly when repeated over and over – it’s worth asking yourself if this is truly making you happier or if you’re letting your obsession with macro tracking take over your life for the worse.

Huh.

I’m not trying to be a prick by any means, though I can understand that I’m probably coming off as an insensitive jerk. I simply feel strongly about this matter because I used to be one of those individuals who thought and talked about food and calories and macronutrients nonstop, to the point where my social life all but dissipated and I was no fun to hang around anymore. And for what?

As it so happens, my friends and family didn’t love me for my bodyfat percentage. And they certainly didn’t love me any less if I didn’t nail my macros on any given day. In fact, they didn’t give a shit – and that’s putting it lightly. But I couldn’t see it back then because I was so hung up on this false idea that being more compliant with my diet, and thereby eventually getting leaner over time, would equate to happiness, more fame, and more friends. It’s highly ironic – and sad, really – how that pursuit completely backfired on me.

It was. not. worth it.

I wish I could go back and have a do over, but obviously that’s not possible. The next best thing I can do, then, is to help others learn from my mistakes and heartache and live better, happier, more fulfilling lives.

Eating gelato, [temporarily not lifting], and thriving in Lake Como, Italy this past August with my family. Life's too short to miss out on authentic gelato!

Eating gelato, [temporarily not lifting], and thriving in Lake Como, Italy this past August with my family. Life’s too short to miss out on authentic gelato!

Don’t misunderstand me: This post is not a cop-out for getting sloppy with your nutrition. If you’re committed to a goal, you obviously need to be consistently adherent to see results. But it doesn’t have to become an obsession, and one isolated, mindful, non-tracked meal is not going to derail you.

I’d say that one of the hardest parts about macro tracking is knowing when it’s worth the effort and sacrifice. Are you just going about your everyday life and trucking along the fat loss train? Then perhaps it’s worth it. Are you headed to your aunt’s annual holiday bash where she busts out her famous homemade apple pie and Uncle Jon whips together his world-renowned stuffing? Then probably not.

The point of a hobby is to add to your life, not take away from it. So if you’re not enjoying the journey – and worse, if you’re making those around you miserable – then what’s the point?

I can’t eat this; I don’t know the macros.
What are the macros for this dish, do you think?
Can you tell me the macros on that? 

These above statements should be kept to a minimum.

So how, then, do you learn to feel less anxious not weighing everything you eat? How do you go to a restaurant, enjoy a handful of fries, and not worry about how many grams of carbohydrates and fats it contains and not let it consume you?

It’s a practice. You have to get your reps in. And if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

(Sorry, I had to!)

On a more serious note, dealing with uncertainty with your food is actually more about your mindset than the food itself.

It’s not one extreme or the other, either. Your choices are not only to either be neurotic with your macronutrient intake or become a shameless glutton. How about we learn to navigate the middle ground most of the time?

Let’s say, on a scale of 1 to 10, that 1 is essentially eating yourself into a food coma each night and a 10 is being a basket case and spending an absurd amount of time trying to figure out your macros.

We don’t want to be at a 1, of course, and I think that a 7 or 8 ranking should be reserved for high level bodybuilders whose success is contingent upon strict nutrition adherence. But even then, it doesn’t have to take over your life.

Where does that leave the rest of us, then? How about those of us who maybe just want to drop a few pounds and live a happy life while doing so?

I’d say we should fall at a 5 or 6. I think it’s important to always have a pulse on at least approximately where your calories might be, and if you are actively trying to adhere to macronutrient numbers, then do so without that becoming the bane of your existence. You don’t have to talk about it all the time, and not everyone needs to know every single detail of what you choose to (or not to!) ingest.

I promise you won’t spontaneously combust if you allow yourself to enjoy a meal every now and then sans macro tracking.

Is your meal delicious? Are you eating just enough? Are you staying mindful? Then you're good!

Is your meal delicious? Are you eating just enough? Are you staying mindful? Then you’re good!

Quality of life, quality of life, quality of life.

Dropping it like it's hot!

Today’s blog is a guest post from my client Jenny Leonard. Jenny joined the #eatliftthrive community back in May fresh off of competing in an NANBF show. She wanted to reverse diet, so she joined my group coaching program for a few months before deciding that she wanted to train for a powerlifting meet. We’ve been working together closely 1-on-1 since the summer to help her prepare for the big day. I’ve asked her to whip together a write-up sharing her experience with you all. Hope you like it! – Sohee 

Hi Jenny, congratulations on your first powerlifting meet! To begin, can you tell us more about how you got involved in the world of lifting weights and fitness? 

I used to be a runner. Big time. I’m talking half marathons and at least three runs a week. I’d do push-ups and “lift” weights and use machines to tone. Then I had babies. I stayed active, but when they are young and you are nursing, it’s hard to go for a run. They got older I did some more running, but it was hard to balance.

A friend convinced me to “lift heavy” in May 2013. I followed his food quantity and bodybuilding advice for a month for a trip, and I was hooked. I mean, I could eating ample food and and work out in my basement while my babies slept? WIN! One thing led to another, and a year later, I found myself on the natural bodybuilding competition stage in the bikini division, and in June 2014, I won a pro card. What? Me, a bikini pro?! This after I was just going “to try” lifting heavy.

Competing as an NGA bikini pro in the spring of 2015 (front shot)

Competing in a NANBF show in May 2015 – front shot

Competing as an NGA bikini pro (back shot)

Back shot

A year after that, and I’m competing again, get Precision Nutrition certified, and I’m coaching nutrition. How cool!

Why did you decide to train for a powerlifting meet? 

One day, my coaching peer and great friend said to me, “I think you should try powerlifting.” So, after reverse dieting out of my show for a few months, I signed up for a November meet and consulted with Coach Sohee. We decided that the best thing to do was to train 1-on-1 with her for this meet because anything worth doing, is worth doing well, and I didn’t want to just “kind of” train for my first powerlifting meet. I wanted to give it my all.

When I workout, it’s a very personal thing for me – it’s spiritual. I find pieces of myself I didn’t know existed. So the thought of moving heavy weights on a stage platform with lots of people around me scared the heck out of me! But if my goals don’t scare me, what’s the point? The magic happens outside the comfort zone. I’d been on the stage before for bodybuilding competitions (also scary for me), but this was different. This was personal.

As I reflect on my journey from August to November, checking in with Sohee weekly, sharing all my form videos for big lifts with her and letting her guide me on this journey, along with sharing this journey with my very good friend and coaching peer, Bridget, I have learned that even though I’m a very independent and hard working woman and single parent, I do not need to do everything alone, and I shouldn’t. Life is about real fellowship. We’re made for it, and that means letting yourself be yourself and being vulnerable with others you can trust. Powerlifting lets you do that.

Jenny (right) with her training partner and friend, Bridget (left)

You’re currently an NGA bikini pro with a powerlifting meet now under your belt. How did you find the two experiences differed? 

Preparing for a bodybuilding competition is a long journey of pushing your body, fighting your mental urges, and dialing in your body fat. You peak and hopefully fill those hungry muscles out properly and in time for your stage moment. Depending on the competition, you’re on stage one or two times for a few minutes – and then it’s over. You get stronger and work those tempo lift workouts to build those glutes and shoulders for that coveted hourglass physique of female bikini competitors.

Don’t get me wrong: Preparing for a bodybuilding competition is its own journey. It’s so mental; your prep plan pushing you to perform more with fewer and fewer calories while your body screams and begs for more food. And the final product is your physique on a stage judged by others. Anyone should be darn proud of that. Darn proud. But at the end of the day, it’s your physique against someone else’s. It’s genetics, it’s opinion, and it’s pushing your body below its preferred body fat levels. You may place, you may not, you may win, you may not.

Powerlifting, though, is a different journey and a different final product. While it’s mental, it’s way more of a physical challenge. It’s about feeding your body so you can get stronger. It’s about perfecting your technique so you can push more weight. And while the final product is you on a stage, it’s you and the bar. Just you and the bar. You either push or pull that weight or you don’t, and you either pump your fist in victory, or know you pushed yourself as hard as you could that day but the weight didn’t move. So you perfect the technique, you push yourself more, and next time you strive to do more. Every lift and PR is a win. And there is no limit to those victories. You choose how many more times you push or pull that bar and win.

Preparing for a powerlifting meet is just part of an indefinite journey, in my opinion. You make sure you’re eating enough to maintain mass and support strength gains. You live in an “everyday” body and don’t typically fight hunger; you feed it to support those strength gains. You train heavy, you focus on increasing 1RMs, and you incorporate planned deload weeks to give your body some extra rest so you can hit it hard and heavy again for another cycle. You celebrate the whole journey with every gain in numbers and every tweak in technique.

You hone in on macros the week of the meet to make your weight class, and you take it easy that week, resting, so you are ready to hit a new 1RM PR on the platform. And the day before and the day of, you eat and eat and eat. For me, that was 75%-90% more calories than any given day to make sure I was fueled to perform and throw heavy weight around. And then you take a full day to do each big lift three times! You’re warming up, you’re hitting 1RM PRs (hopefully or at least hitting good numbers for yourself like I did on bench), and you are cheering other lifters in between.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you did for your nutrition in the months leading up to the big day, plus how you made weigh-ins? 

Before deciding to prepare for my first powerlifting meet, I had been reverse dieting with Sohee for the three months prior, immediately following my latest bikini bodybuilding competition. She did an amazing job increasing my calories from about 1,425 to about 2,080 (17x my body weight!), increasing my weight to 121-124lbs on any given day from my stage weight of approximately 115lbs. The amazing thing was that my body composition wasn’t much different —  just a nice supple, lean look! And my strength gains in the gym and muscle mass gains were coming along nicely.

With powerlifting, you do need to commit to a weight class, though.  There was a 114lb class and a 123lb class. I had no desire to cut to 114 lbs because I was in bikini offseason and wanted to keep chasing muscle gains (gotta eat surplus for that!) and I was in love with my strength gains in reverse dieting.  The 123lb class seemed reasonable as I typically weighed in under that every morning.

Note from Sohee: The 123lb weight class was perfect for Jenny because her offseason weight hovered right around there. I didn’t want her to have to stress out about having to drop water weight; I simply wanted her to train hard and enjoy the overall experience. 

That being said, the goal was to maintain bodyweight (more or less) while increasing strength, so once we reversed my macros up to a healthy intake, we kept them constant for several months.

Here’s what’s intriguing, though: I was pushing strength gains every time in the gym and cycling programs about every 3-5 weeks with a deload week, and I was hungry!  This was crazy because I wasn’t dieting down like in bikini prep to push limits in leanness. I was eating a lot!  But my as my PRs continued in training, my body wanted more to eat.

So what happened?  I had to mentally push through it some days and really respect deload weeks to recharge. And as an unplanned side benefit, I got major lean muscle mass benefit and physique improvement — more than I have ever been able to achieve by focusing on bodybuilding alone. By the end of prep, without trying and without mental fog like what occurs when pushing body fat of 10%-11% like in bikini bodybuilding prep, I got some major upper body gains to better balance out my genetically blessed glutes.

Upper body progress, from December 2014 to November 2015

Upper body progress, from December 2014 to November 2015

This is a major feat for a lanky, narrow hard gainer like myself.  And the beauty of it all was I really coasted into weigh-in pretty effortlessly and did not stress at all about it.

To make weigh-ins,  I did two days of slightly reduced calories and mostly liquid shakes, and without really trying, I dropped about 5lbs and came in well under the 123lb weight limit. Those liquid days were tough, but really nothing in comparison to “dialing” in you do for weeks with bodybuilding prep.

Chowing down on donuts after successfully making weigh-ins!

Chowing down on donuts after successfully making weigh-ins!

Then after eating almost twice as much as I usually do both Saturday and Sunday to fuel my performance, I still was only around 121 lbs the morning of the meet.

How did you do at your first meet? What were the results? What are your overall thoughts on the sport? 

I clocked in at 119.5lbs at weigh-ins for the 123lb weight class at the UPA powerlifting meet on November 14, 2015.

Even though I was quite sick in the two weeks leading up to the meet (ear and sinus infections, it turns out), I hit all my squat attempts and reached a new PR of 198.2 pounds, was 1/3 on bench just hitting my warm up of 93.5 pounds and missing my 1RM match of 115 pounds (probably the result of being ill), and hit all my deadlifts with a new PR of 232.2 pounds!

Note from Sohee: I’m really pleased with how Jenny performed, especially considering that she really wasn’t feeling well starting from about two weeks before the meet. We didn’t learn until the week after she’d competed that she’d had a double ear and sinus infection. Had she been in optimal health, I have no doubt that she would have gone 9/9 for her lifts. Still, 7/9 for her very first meet is not shabby at all! 

Dropping it like it's hot!

Dropping it like it’s hot! 198.2lb squat PR

At the end of the day, I’m thankful I decided to try powerlifting. It has blessed me. It’s changed me for the better. It is a sport that celebrates everyone’s victories…every lift, every session, every PR. But more importantly, it celebrates strength while letting you be vulnerable. Not every lift is what you want it to be, your vulnerabilities on any given day are exposed, but that’s not the end. It’s a journey. You take stock, consult with a coach and/or good friend, you tweak, and it’s you and that bar again, and you can beat it. You are provided the opportunity over and over again to use your vulnerabilities to grow, not hold you back, but make you better, and that carries over into every aspect of your life.

Failure doesn’t stop you; failure grows you.

Jenny feeling the love at the conclusion of her powerlifting meet!

Jenny feeling the love at the conclusion of her powerlifting meet!

Powerlifting gives you meaningful fellowship with others because if you aren’t exposing your vulnerabilities, you’re not growing in this sport. You open yourself up to all you are for yourself, which in turns open you up for those you are sharing the journey with: training partners, coaches, best friends, and in my case, my children.

And in the end, anything worth doing is worth doing well, and if it’s worth doing well, it is well worth sharing with those you care about — or what’s the point?

I can’t say I’ve found anything like powerlifting that has opened me up and consistently grown me so I can really be better than who I was yesterday for my personal biggest why: my children.  When you find something like that — something that lights you up over and over and lets you let go and let live — it’s really indescribable. I can’t do it justice.

But I can tell you one thing: The bar and I have an indefinite number of dates, and I’m sure my life journey will be the better for it.

powerlifting meet deadlift

Connect with Jenny by following her on Instagram.

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