Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


You know how sometimes you have this huge internal struggle that you wrestle with for months?

And when you finally, finally decide "The heck with it; I'm balls in" you can't wait for the opportunity to tell all those you love?

Because you *know* all those you love will be shocked at the leap of faith you are taking?

But when you publicly drop the life-altering, life-changing decision you toiled over, all your friends and family are like, "Yeah, I saw *that* coming a mile away," leaving you wondering, "Am I really such a foregone conclusion?"

So that happened this month.

Yes, I'm talking about the decision to compete in my first powerlifting meet.

(Y'all saw that coming, too, huh?)(Apparently I'm last to the party on this one.)

At a recent training session, Kemper valiantly tried to argue one more time for the merits of going into figure competition. I finally trumped all his subtle coercion with the ultimate deal-breaker for me: modesty. There is no way around that one if I was going to go into figure competition. (Mom Those who may be wondering, figure competition is the one where you put on a tiny bikini and heels and stand on a stage to show the results of your months of strict diet and hardcore training.) Kemper conceded if modesty was my main issue then, um, yeah, figure wasn't going to work for me.

But if not figure, then what did I really want to do? I've spent the last twelve weeks working Kemper's 5x5 strength training plan. It was a total blast and hella effective. Here are the results from twelve weeks training:

Me getting ready to squat 170 x 5
Also, apparently I squat low bar naturally.
Because my traps are weak delicate.
I started the plan at 147.9 pounds (I'm 5' 3.5" tall) and 23.6% body fat.

I benched 65 for reps with a 1 rep max of 95.
I squatted 95 for reps with a 1 rep max of 155.
I deadlifted 115 for reps with a 1 rep max of 165.

Last weigh in I weighed 146 with 20% body fat.

I bench 95 for reps.
I squat 170 for reps.
I deadlift 165 for reps.

I have yet to test my new 1 rep maxes*, but I think it's fair to say Kemper's strength training plan has been fruitful. So what's next?

It's for STRENGTH GAINZ, geez.
The decision to go into powerlifting was hard for one simple, ridiculous reason. The scale. For me it started and ended with knowing I was going to need to change my diet to support my powerlifting goals, which meant I had to be okay with maybe gaining weight. Kemper used fun terminology like "calorie progression" to talk about eating for strength gains but I knew that was really code for "let's make you a nice, strong Chunky Monkey totally fluffified in time for all your Christmas photos". (Confession. The thought of Kemper actually uttering the words "Chunky Monkey" or "fluffified" kinda sets me to snickering.)(But it would be rad.)

This looks nothing like Kemper.
But the expression? Dude.
(Also, Random Thought For Free = I made Brian watch Brian and I watched The Fault In Our Stars Saturday night and Kemper totally has a facial expression twin. The actor that plays Augustus makes so many Kemper faces it kept taking me out of the imaginary world of Hazel Grace and Augustus (that was absolutely destroying me anyway, let's be honest) because I would be all, "Where have I seen that look..." and be mystified for all of three seconds before I was like, "Kemper freaking Sosa."

So what I was trying to say before Augustus Waters hijacked my life yet again, is that it took a fair amount of internal debate and reflection to see if I'm in a place to be able to mentally handle any body image issues that may arise because of bulking  becoming a fluffified Chunky Monkey  calorie progression. Finally I decided, "Dude, stop being a freaking girl and just go for it." So Imma do it.

What's the plan?

Baby Sister/Police Officer Extraordinaire
Full disclosure: Her name is Cassie.
But what kind of second rate older
sister would let the golden opportunity
pass to drop the nickname "Casshole"?
Not this one.
Firstly, I'm taking a three week break just to have fun. I'm sticking with the general outline of my strength plan (Mondays = chest and arms, Tuesday = yoga and sometimes run, Wednesday - deadlift and back, Thursday = chest/arms/HIIT, Friday = rest, Saturday = LEG DAY, Sunday = abs and HIIT) but I'm trying out a bunch of new-to-me exercises and machines. I'm training with Rachel Who Looks Like Meg Ryan on Mondays (and some Thursdays) and Powerlifter Sara on some Wednesdays and Saturdays. I trained with my baby sister (the beautiful and strong Casshole) last Thursday at LA Fitness. I'm playing around with stances and grips and throwing up new weights just because I can. HOORAH.

I'll meet with Kemper the first week of October to go over THE NEW TRAINING PROGRAM. You know, the one that prepares me for my first ever powerlifting meet. *throws up in my mouth a little from fear* I found a meet in January that is relatively close by; unfortunately it is only a push/pull competition, which means I will only be doing bench press and deadlift. (No squatting this time.)(Which I actually think might be a nice way to ease into this sport.) I'll start The New Training Program October 13, which gives me roughly 12 weeks to prepare. I'm also attending a meet in Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 11 to see Powerlifter Sara compete, which will give me some idea of what to expect when it's my turn.

I'm nervous, guys. I'm freaking out a little. I'm worried I may be the weakest person there. I'm worried I won't make my lifts. But this is good freaking out, and healthy fear. This is the fear that pushes me to try new things, to be better. These are the nerves that challenge my Navy Seal dreams. Second place is FIRST LOSER.

In conclusion, (I love that dropping that phrase always makes me feel like I've actually made some cohesive points) here is a picture of me hitting a new PR for deadlift on Sunday morning that has nothing to do with any of this post, and everything with just wanting to post a ginormous picture of myself deadlifting TWO HUNDRED POUNDS.

True story about this picture: Lifetime Fitness is relatively empty at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, which made it the perfect time to play around with a sumo deadlift stance and see how much I could lift. I did some light sets of ten reps to warm up (at 95# and 115#) and then started rocking out two reps every 10#-20# increase. My previous 1 rep max lift was 165#; after Kemper's strength training plan I could do 2-3 sets of 5 reps each at 165#. But I'd never done more than that. When I got to 175# it was a big deal. A NEW PR! But I kept going. 185#. Then 190#. I was all, "THAT'S A 25# PR!" Then I thought, "A 30# PR would be nicer." So I did it. Then I reasoned, "I'm only 5 measly pounds away from 200 - which is a really nice number." So I pulled 200# and freaked the heck out.
 Then I proceeded to ask every single person within a fifty foot radius if they had a camera with them and would someone pretty please with a cherry on top take a picture (because: proof) and email it to me?!?!
Thankfully my new best friend Toni (a.k.a. previously a perfect stranger) ran down to the locker room (oh yes, she did) to grab her phone and take the lovely shot above which she emailed to me because she loves and supports other women who lift. And I am super, super grateful.
The End.


  1. Aw Kel, this is so great! I know you work hard and are motivated to good health and have done an inspiring job pushing yourself to do more...BEST OF LUCK!!!

    I am a full supporter of the idea that "trying your best IS like winning"! You will be awesome!!

  2. That's awesome!! And I love that your new friend ran to get her phone just for you!!!

  3. Awesome! You are so string and I'll look forward to cheering you on!

  4. You will not be the weakest one there. I know that form watching other women put their PRs and weights on a leader board for five months. You got it girl!


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