If you choose to fear, you will die slave of your own mind.
Since I made the decision to heal from my eating disorder, I believed that anything involving rigour and precision meant I was relapsing. I didn’t weigh myself and didn’t track my food intake or physical activity for two years. For many, that may be healthful: they were never strict and inflexible to begin with, so losing those tendencies would be a return to their true self.
However, I was strict and inflexible long before my mental health went awry. Trying to uproot those traits was like trying to replace myself with a person I couldn’t, didn’t know how, and didn’t want to be.
This attempt didn’t truly heal me. Forbidding myself to record what I was doing in any quantifiable way, I deprived myself of the only tool I had to get in touch with my body. Trying hard to fit into the mould of the “intuitive recovery warrior” only led to a partial recovery. I was still afraid of food, exercised in a way I hated, and felt insecure about my body. The only difference was that now my weight was either stable or going up instead of down.
It was only when I chose to track again that I truly took back control of my life. However, it’s still hard to tell whether I make a decision because I’m pursuing a fitness goal or because I’m still fighting my old disordered mindset. For this reason, I’m going to cover a number of helpful questions you can ask yourself to figure out if what’s motivating you comes from a place of health or disorder.
Ego trip: a journey to nowhere.
Squat, bench, and deadlift are staple exercises for lifters of all ages. They are the three main lifts performed in powerlifting competitions, so they are a “must do” for athletes. They are also compound movements that work out different muscle groups at the same time, which is ideal for anyone who wants to build strength, sculpt their physique, and improve their body’s efficiency performing everyday tasks. Lastly, they’re the best exercises to show off and ego lift.
Good old ego lifting. I’ve been there often, trying to push a weight that was way out of my league because my workout log said so. But what does actually happen when you lift too much?
Having had a bad case of ego lifting at least once on each of the three lifts mentioned above, I noticed different consequences. And no, it wasn’t only injury. There are also less obvious outcomes, ranging from hampering your gains to developing bad form habits.
Useful Links: One Month Update
Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.
The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom.
What with all the podcasts, websites, and Instagram accounts where athletes and coaches share their experience, today it’s easier than ever to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to professional bodybuilders and powerlifters. When I first looked up lifting, I had that exact problem: I found a lot of advice and information for athletes, but I either didn’t realise I wasn’t the intended audience, or I thought it was still appropriate for my recreational training.
For example, I thought I had to cut and bulk on a regular basis, when that isn’t always the case. Since those early days I’ve learnt when and why athletes take either nutritional approach, when these strategies are sustainable for recreational lifters like me, and when and how to implement them over the course of my training.
If you’ve been asking yourself whether you should cut or bulk, take a look at this article!
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