A Little Respect (Strength Monday 7/8/13)


In my quest for lean superhero-ness, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy stuff and work on skills a few times a week. For about 18 months or so, I’ve been using the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. It did a brilliant job of seeing me through my n=1 experiments and definitely increased my strength, but the way my body looks hasn’t changed the way I want it to. So in the interests of both science and vanity, I’m starting a new training program with The Movement Minneapolis that I’ll tell you all about very soon.

(If you’re new to strength training, here’s a great overview of what all the lingo below means.)


8:00 treadmill at 3.9 mph (1/2 mile)
arm circles, straight-leg march, air squats


7 rounds:
11 barbell hip thrust, 40#
11 wall slides
time: 16:00

6 rounds:
5 back squat: 95# – 100# – 105# – 110# – 115# – 115#
strict chinups, black band: 4 + 4 + 4+ 4+ 3 + 4
time: 17:55

4 rounds:
11 cable rows, 70#
11/arm kettlebell windmill, 15# kb


Handstand hold at the wall… just for fun! 3 X :30, plus 3 seconds free-standing

Respect Starts With You

Sometimes I feel like the artist behind Things We Forget is reading my mind. This is the adorbs/profound post-it that was shared today:


I’ve spent the last, say, 36 hours having loving but stern conversations with myself about my attitude. I’ve been being a bit mean to my body for the last few days. I’ve been eating very well and training wisely and getting plenty of rest, but I’ve been saying mean things. Inside my head. Where the only one who can hear them is me.

That is not nice.

Nor is is productive.

I’m not happy with the extra chubbiness I’ve slowly accumulated over the last two years (thank you, hormone meltdown!) or the last two months (I’m looking at you, delicious cake in Europe!). Intellectually, I know I’m doing the right things to move in the appropriate superhero direction, but emotionally, it’s pretty tough to feel physically and mentally uncomfortable.

I feel great when I’m working, but the rest of the time… it is so hot here in Austin and I dislike summer clothing so much and nothing seems like it looks cute or feels good and I hate my hair and my left eye is weirdly watery and the bruises on my left knee that I got from a fall on the cobblestones in Cesky Krumlov are still tender and did I mention that I am so hot?! (and not in the J.Lo. way but in the “stop looking at me, I can feel your gaze on my skin because it is hotter than the devil’s backside right now.”)

So, yeah. That.

But here’s the thing: It’s going to take a while to get my body back the way I want it. And the best way to do that — for everyone: me, Dave, my family, and you guys — is to do it with kindness, compassion, and self respect. I would never speak to anyone else the unkind way I sometimes bark at myself inside my head.

So I’m working to stop it.

Yesterday, I did a lovely 20-minute meditation, and that’s on my agenda for later today, too. I also took a walk in the m*therf*cking heat, which I will also do again this evening. And when I begin to mentally say mean things to myself, I just stop.

It’s that simple (but not easy, naturally). I just stop.

Work in progress… continues. Good music helps, too. Like this! Get your groove on with the Staple Singers from 1972…

What do you do to treat yourself with loving respect?

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  • Carla Hoogstad says:

    Thank you for writing this today! Kind of in the same mind set myself. My weight loss has stalled. And it just frustrates me. I know it is all about getting myself to a healthier me, and kicking my butt to the gym (I still struggle with this) but it is also to stop punishing myself, and to stop mentally beating myself up. It really isn’t nice….

  • Lydia says:

    Ya know, I have NO IDEA what I do to treat myself with loving respect. Maybe I should put some thought into that. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • Jill S. says:

    It is sooooo hot here in Austin – and I am with you on being soooo hot. Thank you for sharing these words – we are all so hard on ourselves. I continually remind myself that I am friends with several “larger” people whom I love and cherish – so why can’t I accept my thighs? Love your blog!

  • De23 says:

    I struggle with negative self-talk constantly. This was really brought home to me one day when my husband asked me, “Why are you being so mean and talking to me like I’m stupid?” I was taken aback when I realized it was because that’s the way I talk to myself.

    Thanks for the encouragement! I will consciously try be kinder to myself this week and hope it’s habit-forming.

  • Angela W says:

    Love your honesty. And I’ve been there, in my head, too many times with the negative self talking. I just try and remember that I’m in a much better place now, physically, than I was years ago. My brain just needs to catch up!

  • rita says:

    hi Melissa
    I don’t know if you’re a fan of audiobooks if not, please disregard but if you are at all interested..audible.com has an audiobook called ‘Body Transformation Inside-Out’ which I can personally highly recommend (I am not affliated in any way with the author or audible.com in any way) I listen to it every night and it has made all the difference to me re: self esteem and acceptance. I literally hear something new and important every time….
    Thanks for all you do , and I am loving the music videos. Fantastic, really

    Rita from Colorado

  • rita says:

    p.s. you can listen to a sample and read reviews at the audible website..


  • Melissa says:

    What a great entry – any time, but right now too. We could all use these reminders. I’ve been dogging on myself lately for getting softer around the middle than I’d like. The realization that I’m being way meaner to myself than I would ever be outloud to someone else is usually what reins me in too. When I catch myself engaging in negative self-talk, sometimes I ask myself “what would [my husband] say?” and then I sweet-talk myself a little about how strong and pretty and good-smelling I am and that helps a lot, as cheesy as it is, and makes me smile.

  • Christine says:

    Thank you for you candor and wit. I feel the same way about myself, but am encouraged to do better. And I will! You are a breath of sunshine in my life. I love your recipes and this blog, so keep it coming, sister!

  • Susan says:

    We all need to respect ourselves. I am disrepectful to myself quite often. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Donna says:

    How timely. I’ve been feeling a bit mean about myself lately, too. But over the weekend I came to the realization the Stuart Smalley WAS right: I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

  • PammieTaj says:

    Well, yes. Be as nice as you would be to your best friend or even a small child. Be nice.

    As for taking a walk in Austin, morning is better. It’s cooler and *poof* an accomplishment first thing in the morning.

  • Heidanne says:

    Oh yeah, I had a huge attack of self deprecating internal talk today myself. I went to the local sporting goods store to find some new shorts, which seemed benign, until I went into the dressing room I braved the dressing room mirror.

    I looked at my reflection, and in less three nano secs the pride of doing a pr of 215 lb deadlifts just two days ago all melted away as I saw all my flabby flaws standing there before me. It was not easy to do, but I just swallowed hard and said,” You are strong!!!” and bought the damn shorts. After I got dressed again of course.:)Normally I would start an avalanche of self hate talk, get depressed, feel awful, and go come and cry. Silly I know..Not today though .
    BUT seeing myself gave me a reality check.I have to confess to too many cold beers, bad carbs and too many bad “good” carbs(sweet potato fries),and not enough going to CF and sweating. So I will owe up to the dietary slacking, but destroying myself with hyper cruel critical words is not conducive to a happy, healthy, positive life. Great post.:)I totally relate!