A la recherche des abs perdues

You might surmise, gentle reader, from my extended absence, vague allusions to falling off wagons and utter failure to post regular updates on my weightloss statistics that I had completely abandoned my cut and my usual rigid exercise regime and just been slobbing around eating, drinking and indulging myself shamelessly.
And you would be absolutely…
… wrong, in fact.
Or half wrong, at least. The main gist of my defensive justification ranting was more about neglecting the blog than neglecting the bod. I will concede that the cut has stalled somewhat. It stalled around week three in fact.  The weight loss ground to a near halt, the cardio went out of the window and the high volume, lower weight lifts followed not far behind. But not out of laziness or losing direction. More out of change of direction. I did put the hours in. I went to the gym. I got up early and did the workouts, but I started doing a few heavier lifts at the end of sessions just for fun, and gradually I found myself spending more time lifting heavy than I was doing the lighter calorie burning stuff. And then I found I was really enjoying getting back to doing the simple basic compound lifts and doing low reps heavy for strength after months of doing hypertrophy. At first I felt a bit conflicted: I knew what I should have been doing to reach my goal but I was enjoying myself more than I had for months. I was really looking forward to getting under the bar every day, rather than feeling virtuous for having ticked off another work put. Then I stopped feeling guilty about it and just went with what felt good. It is supposed to be fun after all.
If this sounds like an excuse for not getting results in my diet, then so be it. I may have only lost 3kg rather than the 6 I had intended by this point, but on the other hand, I have put 15kg on my bench press, which is an enormous leap forward for me. I have also started overhead pressing again and am doing my previous 1 rep max for reps now. My deadlift and squat are getting back up to my previous best levels and I have upped weight on all my accessory lifts. Even the dreaded ring dips are creeping up in numbers and feeling more stable. I may not have got a lot leaner in the last month, but I have got a lot stronger. And I am quite happy with that.
So what have I learned from this?
Well, that as long as you’re making progress in some direction, doing what makes you happy is probably the way to go rather than sticking rigidly to a plan just because you set it. Follow the Gainz. There’s always time to get back to the original plan.

Having said that…
the sun has been shining on and off for the last few days(how bizarre to think that only a month ago we had snow!), and while all this lifting means I’m quite happy to get my guns out this year, the lack of lean means I am not entirely, or remotely comfortable with the idea of taking my shirt off any public. Which is probably good news to my loved ones. The year I had abs I became very shirt optional or open, regardless of how (in)appropriate the occasion/location. Picking up my kids from school? no problem. I got abs. Cardiologist appointment? I’m only going to have to take my shirt off anyway… But summer is sort of coming, even if it is hiccuping its way along, and I am going to want to take my shirt off to go swimming and so on, and narcissism aside for a moment, I did not spend all this time working out to still be embarrassed to take my shirt off. I remember feeling like that when I was legitimately fat and it wasn’t any fun. really. I feel conscious of the fat I am carrying around my waist. Having been lean for a few years, having a bit of spare tyre is something I can physically feel. And it doesn’t feel good.
So I do need to get back to the cut. I am going to stick with the strength work because I am enjoying it, but throw the cardio in as well, and up the ab work. I might even do the Month of Abs thing. Once that little duvet layer of fat melts away I want the abs that are revealed to look pretty 3D.
That’s it. Strongish. Fattish. Working on the abs. Watch this space.




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