A History of Resolutions

Merry Christmas Eve, beasts. I did something cool today. I went over my past resolutions (starting from 2012) just to see where I was and where I am now.

In 2012 I had the simple goal of losing weight. I was doing bodyweight workouts (remember doing air squats, lifters?) and I lived off of cardio DvD’s. I was also practicing clean eating but never acknowledged how unstable it made me feel.

By 2013, I developed so much discipline. My resolutions were again simple, except a bit more extreme. I was only allowed to have 2 cheat meals per month. I quote myself: “You can eat one cookie in a month so you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself.”

Give me a moment, I can’t seem to stop laughing at how ridiculous I was. It also scares me since 14-year-old Priyasha was restricting herself so much while creating an illusion that her diet offered some flexibility.

My resolution for 2014 was to get arms like Michelle Obama’s, get ‘ripped’, adopt the 80/20 diet (80% of your diet is clean, unprocessed food and 20% of your diet can be ‘treat foods’) and to start studying. I was also just lifting thrice a week and barely eating. By the end of 2014 I was tracking without a food scale (my bad) and doing carb cycling. Some days i’d only eat 60g of carbs, which obviously forced my lifting numbers to stay low.

This year. My resolutions were to study and hit PR’s. Pretty simple, right?

I have failed some of my resolutions. I can’t squat 30kg (but I can clean 29kg, at least). I can’t do bent over rows, the overhead press and upright row with 30kg either. I still can’t do push ups.  The only goal I successfully accomplished was the 60kg deadlift, and even then I have lost that PR at least thrice this year. During this year, life got in the way of lifting. My focus shifted to getting good grades and keeping my mind happy. This year was a war, a bloody struggle. So yes, some of my resolutions have fallen short. But by looking at my past resolutions and by looking at where I was then and where I am now, I am nothing less than PROUD.

Proud of myself for the PR’s, the immense physique transformation, the decent grades, the things i’ve learnt about lifting and my body. I know where I failed this year and i’m so determined to smash the goals that I haven’t already. I’m not revealing my resolutions for 2016 just yet, but I know what they are and I know exactly how i’m going to get it.

Embrace your human side, beasts. We all have failures. Failures are what fuel as to smash even bigger successes. Failing is quite honestly the best tool a person has in order to win in the future.

Advertisements

A letter to myself.

When you go through anxiety or periods of depression, you often forget to give yourself credit for things you’ve accomplished. You start to beat yourself up, you start taunting yourself. You’re ugly, you’re weak, you’re dumb and you can’t handle this.
But i’m tired of it. So i’m writing myself a letter. To remind myself of where I started and where I am now.

Dear Priyasha,

You were never a fit person before. You were an insecure, fat little child who felt incredibly incapable most of the time. You couldn’t play sports and you’d feel your lungs give out after a minute of running. But you got out of that. You kept hustling till you were no longer the ‘fat little girl’. You lost the weight and you got strong. Yes, I just called you strong. Now you better believe it. You have gone from lifting 15kg in almost all exercises to being able to lift 60kg in some. And you call yourself weak? Sure, there are things that are yet to be accomplished. But I know you. I am you. And I know you’re going to get there. People will call you weak. People will call you ugly. People will taunt and sometimes you join them. But beasts aren’t defined by words of sheep.

This year was tough. But you’ve accomplished so much. You learned that being single doesn’t mean you’re unattractive and unloved. It just means you now have the chance to fall in love with yourself. And you did. You set a goal to get good grades, and you got there. And you’re still working. You got up every single day, no matter the mental state, and you just kept working. You learned all the things that are yet to be improved and I know you’re gonna smash those goals next year. So walk with pride. Give yourself some credit. Life is tough for everyone, but you’re fit enough to survive and thrive.

Love,

The Beast.

I suppose it’s weird to be writing myself a letter and even signing off on it, but I feel like reminding yourself of who you are and where you started is very important.

 

 

 

The Doubt Fuels Me.

They never thought of me as a smart person.

I never saw myself as a smart person either. I grew familiar with below average grades and teachers telling me about my ‘potential’. So then I studied. I studied every chance I got, I compromised sleep and lifting for books. And I got decent grades, for the first time in my life.

People don’t think of me as a fit or strong person either. And quite honestly, I agree with them most of the time (believe it or not.) Oh yes, I do have moments where I admire my strength. But it’s rarely genuine. The moment anyone asks me to flex my biceps, the moment someone challenges me to an arm-wrestling match, or when i’m asked to take part in events for sports day in school, I flinch. I don’t believe in my strength so I rarely flex. I’m scared of what they’ll say because somehow I have grown accustomed to doubting myself. But this doubt is what fuels me. Fuels me to become a person who’ll proudly flex, take part in everything without having anxiety eat me alive, beat anyone who just challenges me.

I don’t feel like the fittest or strongest person right now. I have never been able to even prove the strength i’ve gained in the last two years. It’s a bloody struggle, but that’s part of the hustle. Because of this,  I’ve decided to aim to become a more balanced ‘fitness person’. Start doing Tabata training for stamina, start working on bodyweight exercises like push ups and pull ups, start focussing on my form more. I have my eyes on the prize, and no one is going to get in my way.

I might cry, I might bleed and I might disappoint myself and other people. I might say i’m going to give up, but I never do.

I never give up, I never let obstacles get the better of me. I’m strong. I just need to start believing it and training for better strength now.

This blog post is for me, and my fellow beast. We’re going to keep the hustle going. We’re going to achieve and persevere and demolish anything

 

 

tumblr_na9dawvXnE1rvr94ko1_400

that gets in our way. Your strength is immense.

I believe in us.

 

 

On Mondays, we squat.

Today, I got back into the groove. Had my first lifting session in 2 weeks (I think) and it was…brutal. But felt incredibly good. My squat form was honestly terrible, I could feel my quads and hamstrings tighten up even after a warm-up, but I pushed through 3 sets of 27kg squats (my new program calls for 5 sets of rear-loaded squats and 2 sets of box squats after.)

Even though I don’t feel my strongest and fittest right now, you can bet that I’ll be back in a week or two. Once my muscles get warmed up by consistency I’ll go back to squatting 7 sets.

Speaking of the new program (homemade), here’s my Quad and Glute Workout from it:

Monday: Glutes and Quads

Squat Warm Up:

Kettle-bell squats                     10 x 3 

Squat halos                                 10 x 2

Walking lunges                          20

Working Set:

Rear loaded squats
(2 sets deep squats,                    8 x 5 (27kg)
3 sets pause squats)

Box squats                                    8 x 2 (7kg) 

Dumbbell step ups                      3 x 10 (10kg)

Here’s to hoping my workouts stay brutal, cause I always love a challenge.

Tying Loose Ends

I had goals for 2015.
Some of them I accomplished, some I haven’t.

  • I accomplished the 60kg deadlift (for 5 sets of 5)
  • my squat is close to 30kg (stuck at 27kg)
  • I finally started studying this year.

But I still haven’t tackled upper body lifts higher than 20kg, other than the bent over row. I still can’t do push ups.

I’ve been very scattered with fitness since July. my lifts have been inconsistent, my tracking has been very out of place (to a point where i’m ashamed sometimes). I’ve restarted my reverse diet more than 5 times now. I just haven’t been focussed. Fitness got sidelined when IB and bad mental health came into view. I was incredibly distracted and demotivated, and I lost discipline and vigour. And that’s okay. It’s okay because i’m being honest with myself and and you guys. It’s okay because my determination overpowers the struggles of the last 6 months and i’m going to keep going. I’ve learnt from this.

I’m going to stop neglecting a proper warm-up before my lifts. It’s important to work on your mobility before lifts to ensure proper form and to increase your scope for hitting a PR. I’m going to start benching again. But because of alienating the exercise, i’m a complete benching beginner which means i’m going to start with pressing 10kg. I’m also a beginner with pushups, but i’ve actively started working on that.

I’m determined to learn how to balance mental and physical health along with studying. Determined to tie loose ends. I’ll be posting my new lifting program soon along with my goals for 2016. This time it isn’t just about physique and lifts.

Try looking at the big picture.

 

You’re a fighter.

You wake up with that feeling inside you.

Some days it’s a good feeling and some days you want to go back to sleep. Not cause you’re still sleepy. You just don’t know what to do with that feeling.

That feeling that makes you not want to appreciate the sunshine or the fact that you’re alive. You wake up with it sometimes. You don’t feel like getting up, don’t feel like talking about it. Sometimes you can’t talk about it.

But you’re a fighter.

So you get up anyways. You tell your best friend what’s going on, as best as you can. You finish your workout, you force yourself to smile, you listen to happy music even though your heart calls for Lana Del Rey. You’re a fighter.
This post is for everyone out there going through something. Something that’s diagnosed or something that’s unlabelled.

This post is for the people who are trying every damn day. Trying to be happy, trying to lose weight, trying to get strong. People who are actively helping themselves.

I may not know you, but I believe in you.

tumblr_ng8np912yz1s7ro9fo1_400.gif

Now, let’s talk about fitness. It’s been a while. I’m not as lean as I was a while back, when I was cutting, but my lifts have been getting stronger. I think i’m ready to tackle one of my goals for this year: the 30kg squat(only squatting 30 cause I don’t have a squat rack at home). I’ve been working on my push ups as well, since I can’t do them very well. I remember so clearly being teased for being someone who lifts but can’t do push ups or pull ups. Well hey, i’m working on that as well. Won’t rest till I get push ups down.

Use your setbacks to propel you forward.

 

 

Being Away.

I was away. I was gone, even though I’ve been here all this while.

My mind was in a dark place. This is something that’s hard to admit on such a public place, but I need to explain myself. I was a victim to anxiety attacks and almost constant phases of unexplainable sadness which left me feeling like I didn’t care about macros. Didn’t care about lifting.

I would open my blog every week, feeling guilty for not intensely typing about fitness.

I would question myself.

Doubt my strength, my capabilities in almost all fields. I would stare at the ceiling feeling absolutely paralysed. I wouldn’t even eat or drink water. But i’m better now. One thing about me is, nothing can hold me down. No matter what, I never give up on myself. So after months and months of mental wars, I can feel myself coming back.

Not the old Priyasha, but a new one. One who is better equipped to take on life. I know I can’t help but feel sad now and then, to feel anxious about things, but I am absolutely certain that i’m coming out of the dark place as a stronger person.

I lifted today. I felt genuinely happy. I studied without getting anxious about IB. Small steps.

And now, as I type, I envision all the goals I have to conquer. The PR’s that are waiting for me, the grades i’m going to get, the lives i’m going to change. Cause i’m not afraid to work for it.

I might’ve been away, but i’m sure as hell coming back.

 

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Inconsistent posts (I apologise).

Inconsistent moods.

Nothing about this month has been stable. It started out with me over-studying and over-working in general. There were days where i’d forget to eat because I was so consumed with IB work. That lead to a complete disinterest in lifting, tracking, studying. I was so stressed, my mind shut down. All I wanted to do was watch Dexter and play Assassin’s Creed. For more than a week, I let myself be.

I let myself breathe.

I have always dealt with stress and anxiety problems. Stress is something that can drastically spoil your health. We, as working human beings, tend to overlook any issues relating to mental health.

What do you do when you feel a cold or a fever coming along? You call in sick (school, work, any place that shows you’re a responsible member of society). What do you do when you feel particularly sad one day? You’re anxious, stressed, been feeling depressed lately. Do you call in sick? Or do you push the problem aside, let it collect dust on your metaphorical desk.

I let my mental health take the backseat for a long time. I let it collect dust. But now i’m cleaning up my ‘desk’, facing my demons. Making sure you’re physically well and fit isn’t the only important thing. Mental and physical health act as the foundation of your life and your goals. If you notice, when you have a good mental health, you have a stronger head to take on life with. You conquer goals with ease, and you thrive.

I preach balance, and I’m going to open a new chapter in my life. A new chapter in my blog; one that prioritises mental health and fitness together.

Exciting things are coming, because self-improvement is something I pride myself on.

Never stop evolving

Pri

xx

Lifting in the AM

I started this morning off with some deadlifts. For the past 3 weeks i’ve been doing fasted lifts since I have absolutely NO time when I get back home from school. I was a bit reluctant to try it, since I was positive that i’d hit no PR’s on an empty stomach, but I was wrong. My deadlift has gone up to 4 sets of 5-6 with 55kg (getting comfortable with pulling 55 before I attempt 60 again), my overhead press and upright row has gone up to 20kg for 3 sets of 6-8 (used to be 18kg).

If you’re lifting in the AM as well, make sure you fuel yourself with at least 15g of carbs and 20g of protein after for optimum protein synthesis (Just a fancier way of saying you’ll make some gains)

If I can be completely honest, lately I haven’t felt like lifting or tracking. Losing motivation is so common for anyone who’s into fitness. We’re not inspired 24/7, we’re human. But I’ve still been dragging myself away from my bed and over to the weights as much as I can. I just need to refocus myself. Eyes on the prize.

tumblr_nezvniSTlI1snbrkko1_500

Very sleepy eyes on the prize.

 

Definitions

“I am 50kgs.”

“I am 5’4”

“I’m a size 4.”

For the longest time, we’ve been defining ourselves purely based on our appearance. What size we are, how much we weigh, how tall we are. Appearance is one of the most quickly judged things, and in today’s world, weight and size is prioritised.

As a fitness blogger, i’ve gotten used to people defining themselves based on things that are important to society. But what about how strong you are? How compassionate you are? How ambitious you are? Why do these characteristics get hidden in the background?

A person is not his/her weight, height, proportions or body type. I don’t give a damn what shape or size you are, just be unapologetically you.

Don’t lose who you are as a person in the layers of image consciousness and societal expectations.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, the reverse diet is going smoothly. Extra carbs make me feel stronger with my lifts, and i’m still maintaining the same physique. Except I’m trying to go from 50kg to 52kg to help me tackle the 65kg dead lift (eventually). Till then, i’m going to keep inhaling bowls of pasta and tightening my grip on the barbell.