My lower is 200lbs, upper, call it 125lbs, for now. That would bring my total to 325 lbs, which I think is quite impressive for my 5’4″ frame. Those dumplings catch up with you…but truth be told, that’s not what I weigh. I’m not exactly sure how much I weigh right now, but I know it’s not 325.
The only weight that matters is the one you’re lifting.
What does that mean for my numbers? It means that with a combination of hard work and wishful thinking, I’d like to squat 200lbs this year. I’d also like to continue deadlifting 200+ lbs. And, I’d like to bench at least 120 for a one rep max — put on those semi-big boy weights on the bar, rather than the tiny 10s and 5s. The list goes on and I’ll be sure to detail my triumphs and struggles here, don’t you worry 😀
But, this post isn’t intended for that. This post is about weights. I have a scale and I use it — otherwise, how else does one know if their checked bags will be overweight? International travel limits me to 50 lbs. Besides that, I dust the scale once in a while.
I use to tell myself I should be ### lbs. However, I’ve recently switched to, “I want to see if I can lift ### lbs.” Sometimes it’s naïve optimism that results in nothing moving after 10 seconds of trying (aka wishful thinking), other times, well…
I’ve found several benefits in focusing on my numbers, my weights, in the last year:
- Relax and refocus
Powerpoints, excel sheets, matlab, etc, typically fill my day. As a transpondster in the concrete jungle, I’m engrossed in numbers and lines and that fateful “beep” that tells you in coding terms, “Nice try, but you didn’t get it right.” Freeing myself of those thoughts for that 1-2 hours each day helps me focus better when I get back to my job of statistical analysis and data reconfiguration.
2. Increased appetite
It should be obvious from the topic of the previous blog that I like good food. And sometimes, there are days where you eat and you eat and you eat and you’re never full. Thanks to lifting and working out, I typically have a guilt free complex when I see a platter of dumplings or a big plate of sushi/sashimi placed in front of me. If anything, I eat more meat now than before, to help build muscle after a tough workout.
3. More energy
Ok, not the same extent as Monica. But, more energy typically means being alert when I wake up, being able to stay up slightly later and have that extra bit of juice to finish that last bit of coding or to binge watch the last 5 episodes of the current Chinese drama I’m watching. Even when traveling, hiking 12km a day in Peru or logging 30k steps in Budapest wasn’t any issue at all thanks to some of the crazy lifting/cardio circuits I do on a week to week basis at the gym. This will come in handy once again in a week or two, when I binge watch “Fuller House” with my bff.
Cardio is great for burning energy between lift days, but my favorite days are probably what my trainer calls “Beefcake _____.” Fill in the blank with the day of the week and stack as many weights on to a bar and you pretty much get the picture.
I think it’s important, especially for us ladies, to not be intimidated by the weight room. Don’t be concerned with what your number is, be proud regardless of if you carry those 5lbs on your way to lateral shoulder raises, or the 20lbs to the lunges, or even the -25lbs for your 3 sets of 12 pull ups, like yours truly here. One day, you’ll be lifting that 45lb dumbbell off the rack because you’re too short to reach the pull up bars in the main weight room, the ones without the help! (for 2-3 reps, WIP people).
All that matters is that you concern yourself with positive goals. Rather than think about words with negative connotations like “lose” or “lower”, I personally prefer “more”, “higher”, “faster”, “stronger”. While it’s nice to slim down to a smaller dress size, I’m much happier when I can heave a 50lb luggage full of goodies for my family in China clean off the conveyer belt with one arm.