Here’s how I feel right now:
I see a beautiful open road of life ahead of me; I feel sanguine in myself; I feel happy with my body.
And with all of this confidence I am welcoming a new challenge of getting leaner.
For accountability purposes I am taking before photos just like I have my clients take.
I really don’t think anybody enjoys taking “before” photos when they start a fat loss process.
As one of my clients put it, “These are my good-bye photos.”
I thought she was clever.
But the reason I didn’t enjoy taking my before photos was not because I want to stay goodbye to my current self at all…
The nervousness I feel of merely showing someone else my body for what it is makes me feel uncomfortable..
….I worry I will be judged.
And yes, I wonder if someone out there will think I am not thin enough or not fit enough… or that I am too thin to want to get leaner….but not because I worry I am inadequate.
I worry like a staunch Republican would worry before dining with Barrack Obama.
I am confident in my body thanks to my strength; nobody can tell me otherwise.
I am sharing these before photos with you because I am about to take on a personal endeavor.
Just like the powerlifting meet I competed in last January, I am challenging myself to something new.
Plus, I need accountability.
I am going to try and get as insanely lean as I can without driving myself insane.
Here are my before photos:
No, I am not going to do a physique/bikini competition; at least not at this point in time.
Deadline: I am going to give myself 11 weeks.
If I achieve my goal in nine weeks I will stop then.
If it gets to be too hard on my body, my positive mindset escapes me or it gets in the way of my relationships I will stop.
I am going to share every step of the is short journey with you in order to help you understand what getting leaner really takes.
No exaggerations or glorifications of it, no BS or lies; just my own real-life experiences with what I eat, how I exercise, sleep and more.
I want the people who desire a leaner body to know how to do it if it is what they really want.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to get leaner and there are healthy ways to do it.
Just like someone who is confident in their new found running endurance may set off to run a marathon, I am inspired to try and challenge myself with my nutrition.
And yes, I am already fairly lean but that doesn’t mean I can’t strive to see what changes are possible to affect.
Could I do this privately and talk about it later?
But I am sharing it with you for accountability and motivation.
Similar to how someone may begin a marathon or Ironman training blog, I will post updates on my CROF Weekly update to fill you in each week.
Before I set off on this endeavor I want to make it very clear as to why I have decided to do this, revealing what my own motivation is.
I also want to discuss some of my own qualms and reservations.
Here are the four reasons I am setting out to get as lean as I can:
1) I love my body how it is now.
This is a very key point for me and everyone else to recognize.
Thanks to years spent slowly but surely losing fat via strength training and smart nutrition, I have attained a lower body fat percentage.
The lean body all year round that did not happen over night.
My current BF percentage is sustainable all year due to having good strategies.
I am all for people setting off on endeavors to lose weight, gain muscle, build a bigger booty– whatever makes them feel more confident or love their body more.
I actually have very lean clients that have come to me looking for physique help.
And just like them I am not doing this challenge to chase perfection.
I am doing this to challenge myself and for the experience.
I am not doing this in hopes to maintain it forever either. I love my body for what it can do now, how it looks in my clothes and I am thankful to be injury-free.
I truly feel confident about this challenge because I am going into it with a clear head.
Based on everything I have read from bikini and figure competitors out there, this can be a mind f*** and I am totally prepared for that. But, it is a bit nerve-racking.
My biggest goal is to maintain my current mindset through the entire process.
And honestly, I am the most worried about the mindset aspect of getting leaner because I know I will have to be more restrictive with my calories, which leads me to my next point.
2) I want to see if the myths are true.
I want to know if I an handle this challenge.
I want to know what it really takes to get leaner without developing bad habits.
I want to experience what my clients are going through, again.
Fat loss at any stage is a restrictive process and it has been a while since I have truly honed in on my own nutrition in order to lose more than two pounds of fat.
Last January I cut back a tiny bit to get my bodyweight down before I cut weight (short temporary process) for my first powerlifting meet.
I had to seriously count calories for the first time in years.
It was tough– but short term crazy restriction is tough.
In this endeavor I am not cutting weight over a two to four week period. I have 11 weeks to lose fat.
It will take more planning and more strategy, things of which will only help me be a better coach down the road.
But back to the myths… will my strength decrease? Will I lose my period? Will I be tired or cranky? Maybe.
I wonder, what will the cost of being lean be for me?
I want to know what it takes. I want to put forth the effort and I wan to see how lean my body can get while maintaining a good mindset.
3) I want to inspire others
I belive in the power of self-efficacy.
We are all inspired by different things depending on our own deeply rooted, intrinsic motivating factors.
I believe that leading by example and sharing my experience with others I can help them achieve their goals and/or give them the push they need to get started.
This challenge will bring me up to speed with what my clients are going through. Counting calories and maintaining a deficit always takes strategy.
I want to be relatable to my clients.
When I coach I pull from experiences I have had with myself and other clients. I reference strategies I personally have used.
However, I am in a different time and space than I was the last time I really tried to affect change on my body.
I know that in doing this I will come up with more strategies to achieve my goal, which will only help my clients.
Again, seeing is believing; I want to reaffirm to others that anything is possible.
4) I want to show people what it really takes
Many fitness professionals are either lean, have been lean, or ebb and flow with their weight just like anyone else.
One thing is for sure, with the lifestyle they lead, fit pros always have access to gyms and resources to get their body in shape…but not all of them are shredded 24/7.
Some fit pros are shredded and they can speak to what it takes to get their body to look like that.
Others are very smart and can look at the research and coach someone through it.
I have never been absolutely shredded. I have been lean; I have been chubby, but never shredded.
I want to get shredded for the sake of being able to teach someone else how to do it with my own practical experience.
I may have a client down the road who wants to get shredded and while I feel competent in my coaching now, I will feel more competent if I can personally relate based on my own experiences.
I have always set goals in arenas which I am passionate about. I am naturally inclined to want to help others and coach.
I am clearly passionate about weightloss, strength and nutrition which motivates me to set a new goal within this realm.
As mentioned, I competed in powerlifting four months ago.
Four months prior to the powerlifting meet I was StrongFirst certified and was very disciplined in my SFG training.
I remember how many sets of pull-ups I did on week three of training.
I remember when I switched to the 16 kg bells for overhead presses.
I remember when I couldn’t squat the 16 kg bells.
I soaked up every second of my training and therefore I can speak to what it takes to become and SFG certified instructor.
And even more, I can relate to others I am now coaching. I can give more empathy.
I want to be able to relate a bit more closely to my clients. I want them to know that I practice what I preach.
There’s a good chance that I may end up shifting my strategies and finding that other ways work better than I coach now.
However, this curiosity inside me, the wonder that something else may in fact be better, or make the fat loss process easier, is what motivates me to take on this endeavor.
And now, more than ever, with my mindset the strongest it has probably ever been in my life (and trust me, it has taken longer to work on my mindset than any feat of strength I have ever accomplished), it is the right time for me to challenge myself to get as lean as possible.
Here are the initial facts about me before the process begins: I currently weight between 117 and 118 pounds. My goal weight? It seems irrelevant to me, but I will keep track of it.
Because I lift weights, my weight may not decrease very much as I lean out; but that is something only time will tell.
I do not know my exact BF percentage, but that is a big reason why I took photos.
Each week I will share a small write up in the CROF Weekly Update– so stay tuned!
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