The snatch lift is a lift that is full of adversity. One wrong move in Olympic Lifting, or slightly off position and the bar is quick to remind you in the form of gravity and negativity that you are wrong.  Your best teacher is pain. It’s feedback telling you to try that again and do it right this time. But you are human and not a robot so your approach to your lifts will vary in skill,  intensity, form, aggression, focus and some of the time you will experience pain for your efforts. ‘Snatch is for life’ is what my coach tells me and it’s so true. No matter what you are always perfecting it and always learning from it and you will fail at 50% of your lifts. The clean and jerk is the more skilled lift, but the snatch is the scariest and the easiest to get wrong.

My week has been really terrible and full of adversity and so todays workout really helped remind me that I just have to work through it and be ok with being human. Part of my week involved very hard feelings over my Whole 30 diet and feeling really discouraged. One of the cardinal rules about whole 30 is not to weigh yourself, so of course that was the rule I’ve had the hardest time with. I was really upset to see that after having lost 4lbs in the first two weeks, I was back up and only had lost 1lb overall. I ignored the fact that my skin is looking so much better, that I’m less puffy and bloated, that my clothes fit better. I was angry that I’d eliminated my biggest vice – coffee beverages, only to not lose a substantial amount of weight and that didn’t seem fair.

Something people don’t understand with the whole ‘fat shaming’ issue (which was brought up this week thanks to the polarizing news article about lululemon) is that when you are overweight, every fat cell in your body is loaded with feelings of inadequacy, shame and self loathing. When someone makes a comment to you (innocent or deliberately insensitive) reminding you of the feelings you already feel about yourself, nothing feels lower to you. You feel unworthy, inadequate and unlikeable and the comment validates those feelings for you. All because your body is a size that isn’t generally desirable. I’ve been skinny before and I’ve lost weight before and I always, ALWAYS forget what it’s like to be living in that moment of feeling deeply ashamed of myself – because it’s easier and more comfortable to live in denial about how low you’ve been and how terrible that place is. So I think my point is, when someone seems to you to be very defensive about ‘fat issues’, it’s coming from a place of deep hurt and working through issues of self worth. This week I’ve been working through my own issues as to why I was so upset about *only* losing 1lb, and working on my issues of feeling rage at the rhetoric about the article and being so hard on myself when clearly things are going in the right direction. If I’ve been a hard person this week it’s because I’ve been raging internally. I’ve been fighting these mental demons and learning some hard lessons. I dropped the bar, but I will line my feet up, line my grip up, get jacked and try again.

Olympic Lifting

  1. First of all Lulumum let me say I take my hat off to you for doing these lifts that if not done properly can cause injury and looks like it can cause soreness if even done right. That takes a lot of mental strength, determination and heart which I am sure you have had to draw on to help get you through this difficult week.

    The "fat shaming" article that came out this week has obviously hit a nerve with you and I can see why. Some people just don't seem to get how hurtful their words can be. People need to understand that there is often a story behind the weight that needs us to be mindful and respectful.

    As for the Whole 30 diet, don't beat yourself up too much over the "weight" aspect part at this stage. As you said yourself, you are benefiting in so many ways, so all is good. I don't do "diets" but rather I cut out or cut back when I feel I need to. I don't agree with totally depriving myself of what I love.

  2. I have been a seldom-commenting reader since I became obsessed with Lulu in early 2011. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the new format and new content and general bad*ass authenticity you have been sharing lately. I have moved away from buying much Lulu – only two new pieces in 2016, and a few orders eBay finds, when I used to have to limit my Lulu budgets to twenty items a months back in the "good old days". I so much appreciate your reviews on newer lines, on lifting, and on sharing such deep personal topics. Thanks for what you do and share!

    1. Thank you so much!!!! I really put my heart on my sleeve with this one so I appreciate the participation in the comments. Thank you!

  3. I thought the point of whole30 was to eat healthy not to lose weight? I was thinking of trying it but I would NEVER give up coffee. I get up between 2-3am on work days and work 12-18 hrs. I need my coffee. I didn't read the article but I'm going too.
    I can't diet and have some weight issues in the last few years. I've done well the last year by changing the way I eat. Emphasis on lean protein and cut out bread,pasta,rice and potatoes. I also cut back on fruit.
    I do eat what I want sometimes, like pizza but not a lot.

    Just a thought.

    1. I don't believe the Whole 30 restricts coffee but it does eliminate dairy, processed foods and refined sugar. After 30 days you are to reintroduce one of these slowly back into your diet, one at a time, to see how your body reacts and if negatively then you know if you should restrict or eliminate this from your diet. I am not lactose intolerant so that is not an issue for me. I don't eat a lot of processed foods but feel I could cut back more in this area. I do know my body reacts poorly to refined sugar intake so I have cut out sweets for the past week and feel better but I don't think I will totally eliminate refined sugary snacks completely, since I love chocolate too much. I am going to try and eliminate sugary snacks for at least one month and decide then how or if I want to bring some back into my diet.

  4. I'm not one to chime but I want to express that I have some of the same issues. I've been trying unsuccessfully for years to drop weight and it won't leave. No matter how much I work out 4-5x a week, no matter how little I eat, no grains, low carb, etc. What did change me in the past few months is a fascia blaster. If you haven't heard of it I encourage you to research it. Its helped change my body and my mind and how I feel about weight. Not selling it, just expressing that its working for me and lots of other people, who were stuck.

  5. I appreciate this post. I am on the other end of the spectrum and struggle to maintain weight. My exercise of choice is crossfit. I hope you find the same powerful feeling I get from lifts. It is nice to focus on what your body can do, not what it looks like. I also hope you feel better soon. Sometimes we just get down, it's ok we all do. 🙂

  6. Have you checked out Flexible Dieting/If It Fits Your Macros? I ate Paleo (and did a couple Whole30s) when I started Crossfit, but I've found that my body responds so much better when I eat more carbs – we actually really do need them! Krissy Mae Cagney (of Doughnuts and Deadlifts) has a great ebook on this: It's nice to not be so restrictive but to still see body composition results, plus I feel better fueled in my workouts now that I'm eating more carbohydrates. A lot of the athletes at my gym are moving away from Paleo these days…

    1. Krissy Cagney actually plagiarized part of her ebook and despite her claims of being a dietitian, she is not. Lots of controversy surrounding her.

      I agree that the whole Paleo fad is dying. While I've done Whole30s myself, and the program is not designed to lose weight. How could you if you're not tracking calories? My biggest issue with Paleo is the notion that it's somehow "healthier" from consuming unlimited quantities of dense-calorie items like but butters, bacon, higher fat meats, coconut oil, etc. No wonder people can't lose weight!
      Lulumum- if you don't have any food intolerances, why Paleo or Whole30? Why deprive yourself without results? I've been following a macros-approach for a while now and it's been awesome. There are no "bad" foods. I'd encourage you to check out Renaissance Periodization which is run by doctors and actual certified nutritionists. Everything is backed by science and data and their results speak for themselves. I also do Olympic wedihhtlifting and it's been instrumental.

    2. I did try IIFYM for a while (maybe a month?) and I never got the hang of it. I found it really tedious to count macros, and weight and measure food. It works if you are in a really controlled eating environment and have access to your food prep. I will probably try it again once this whole 30 is over but I get anxiety just thinking about measuring, weighing and journaling food and constantly thinking about food ratios.

    3. I lost all my weight through Weight Watchers. It's a common sense approach to eating that is easy to stay with for life. I went from a size 12 (heading to 14) to a size 0-2 and have maintained that for 16+ years now. No counting macros, nothing off limits, life is fun, you can go out to eat and it's a well rounded menu/plan that uses real food that you can stay on for life and not struggle or feel crazed about all the time. In fact, even during holidays when I splurge a little bit more than usual I never gain more than 2lbs. I don't get "winter weight" and never have to worry about shedding weight for spring. At least look into it. Might be a better option that's easier to live with.

    4. I did Weight Watchers in my 30s after my second child and lost 50lbs. I then tried Body For Life (women's version) at age 40 as the place I worked at was doing the challenge, and it was amazing, lost so many inches and some weight. I was doing really well till I hit the age of 47 then things started to change everywhere, my shape, metabolism etc. My friend and I are starting the 21 Day Fix next week so we'll see how that goes. I loved Weight Watchers the most tho.

    5. I'm the 10:37am poster about Weight Watchers. I'll be turning 50 this year so I'm definitely no longer young with a fast metabolism. Ahhh…to eat like we did in our late teens and early 20's huh? I miss those days.

  7. I have been having some of the same issues as you LLM. More specifically, I was finding that ever since I hit 40, I was having a hard time losing fat, while keeping lean muscle mass. Yes, there is all the vanity concerns, but more importantly I want to be strong and lean into my 50's, 60's and beyond because research has shown that this body type ages better and with greater health. I don't like diets which restrict certain food items altogether, because, like you've experienced with your coffee example, it just builds resentment and animosity. Hence, I've been doing the following and have lost 6 lbs since Jan 1: Eat <1200 calories/day of whatever I want as long as 60 grams is protein (but ideally I aim for 120 grams). Lift weights for at least 3 hours/week and cardio for at least 2 hours/week. Only eat/drink during a 12 hour window. Only been doing this for 3 weeks so my data is limited, but so far I've dropped 6 lbs, and body fat % has dropped while muscle % has increased. I find that although I haven't restricted any food groups, I am generally eating cleaner because I don't want to "spend" all my calories on a calorie dense food item like french fries or chocolate cake (to name a couple of the worst examples). I know this is all very basic, but after trying all the fancy stuff, I just said screw it, I'm going old school. I'm just mentioning what's finally working for me and was thinking that maybe you could just design your own healthy eating plan that factors in your psychology and what you know you would be able to be successful with. I just got to the point where I got sick of following plans that I knew from day 1 were at odds with my just entire identity. i.e. No coffee = red flag = steer clear of this plan.

  8. Just read the Whole 30 description. Be careful with that! I don't know if you checked with your doctor first, but ultra low sugar sounds like a bad idea. I've done Phase 1 of South Beach a few times, and swore I'd never do it again. (It bans all sugar, including carrots.) I felt awful. At first I thought it was an indication that my diet was too sugar-riddled but later I came to believe that it's just an unhealthy approach to eating, even for a short period of time. I'm not a nutritionist, so I could be wrong, but I felt like death and I think a doctor's advice is a good idea before subjecting your body to that.

    So sorry you're having such a bad week. Hope you know that your faithful readers are all sending you best wishes and are in your corner!

  9. sorry, the 'reply function' seems to be down.

    Thank you Anon 10:12. I do find that powerful feeling from lifts and really love the camaraderie in lifting, and the mutual respect and support between male and female lifters.
    It never feels good to feel not ok about your body, no matter what spectrum of the struggle you are on.

  10. Hey all, thanks so much for commenting and reading. I have spotty wifi at the moment and no phone data (i'll respond to comments more specifically later) but I just wanted to clarify that Whole 30 isn't no or even low carbs. I actually have been eating a lot of carbs in the form of sweet potato, plantain and fruits other starchy veggies and fruits. I need the starchy carbs to be able to workout so thats not something I'm eliminating. Plus, starchy carbs really just feel good sometimes.
    You also don't have to eliminate coffee, you just have to eliminate sweeteners and dairy – so even my beloved coconut milk lattes from starbucks are out because they have cane sugar. Plus, they where an absolute addiction and I didn't like feeling hostage to that. So my option is home made nut milk (which i love) or black coffee. I don't like taking my coffee with nut milk though, but I love drinking cashew milk on it's own. *Avoiding saying nuts too many times*

    I'm feeling a lot better today in terms of whole 30. I'd just hit a rough patch in combination with other crappy things going on but food wise I am nutritionally so much better now than I was pre whole 30. Whole 30 is forcing me to eat whole foods when i'm hungry vs. ignoring hunger with coffee drinks.

  11. January can be a tough month for many reasons and often because many of us realign our eating habits after the holidays. All those feelings you described are not restricted to women of any certain size so it really is important to centre on how you feel and other benefits. By many standards, I am a "small" size but am going through menopause which has rocked my feelings of comfort in my body. I now have a pouch belly that I never did, am losing skin elasticity fast and furious, and every little cheat food seems to travel straight to the scale. I too did a detox without losing any pounds but had to appreciate how much better I felt. And how that translated to my running, swimming and yoga activities! Anyone who can do Olympic Lifting is badass and deserves major props and admiration….numbers on the scale be damned! You look great and are healthy so wear that confidence everyday xoxo

    1. I too have been going through meopsuse for 3 years now and I'm only 52. My body doesn't feel like mine anymore, and no matter how I eat or how much I exercise it's been really hard to loose any weight or inches. I have been active my whole life but the s stage I am going through has thrown me for a loop. Even mentally it's taken a toll. So going forward, all I can do is be grateful for my body , my life and try to be comfortable on this new journey. Thanks for sharing LLM and giving us this space to share.

    2. Thanks for sharing this! This is something we NEVER talk about, and the demographics of this blog puts many of us squarely in this territory. I'm turning 37 this year and I already have noticed sings of pre menopause so I'm sure a lot of that is playing into my ability to shed weight. Feeling a stranger to your own body is a really awful feeling – I wish that transition was easier.

  12. I'm really impressed by what you can lift, Lulumum! And since the commenters above are chiming in about diet. I found what has worked for me the most to stay healthy and let my body heal itself is a Whole Foods, plant based diet. Some scientists I follow and admire and thank are Dr. John McDougall, Rip Essylstyn, Dr. Michael Greger. 🙂 just introducing that I should eat as much as I want and can of the good stuff! In short, it's what others call a vegan diet. I started off just eating more of the right things and eased my way into this lifestyle. Hope this helps anyone.

    1. Thanks! One of the coaches at my gym is a vegan and she is an incredibly strong, powerful athlete. She's really opened our eyes that vegans can have that type of athletic muscular body. While veganism isn't for me, I do really love vegan meals and am much more open to having more vegan meals throughout the week vs. making animal protein the main attraction. I'm pretty certain I'm going to maintain being dairy free as I'm lactose intolerant and it really upsets my digestive system.

  13. By far the best post I've read! Love the candid talk and vulnerability shown with just the right amount of strength in there. I think all people can relate to this post and have had similar feelings at some point in their journey of life and this is a nice reminder for all of us that we can all be a bit more forgiving and loving to others as well as ourselves and what matters is that we don't stay in that low point… we get up, dust ourselves off, and do as you said, @lulumum , "line our grip up, line our feet up, get jacked and try again". We are all on our own individual journey and therefore, can't fairly judge our progress based on others. Easier said than done, yes… but, something to reiterate to ourselves regularly to keep our eyes up, focused and on our goals instead of down and discouraged. <3

  14. Beautifully written!!! Beautiful lift. And excellent topics. I can relate so much to all of this. I've done a whole30. It helped me realize that dairy was wreaking havoc on my skin and digestion. But I learned that for me gluten and nuts were not a major issue. I ended up gaining 7lbs during my whole30 because I didn't weigh or measure my food at all and was feeling deprived without my starchy carbs so I slammed a ton of fat. I made my own fried plantain slices and ate my weight in sweet potatoes… whoops. It was a great kickstart to a better relationship with food, though. Instead of focusing on less of unhealthy things, i started to focus on getting mor of healthy things. More vegetables, more lean meats, more unprocessed foods. The best lesson I've learned from it all was to that trying to be perfect will only wear you down. Have the salad and then have half of a chocolate bar. Life is all about balance. Suffering from deprivation will only get you down, in my experience. Whole 30 is a great tool to find out what foods your body wants you to avoid, but it's not really a lifestyle. All of the home cooking and dishes left me completely exhausted… lol. But being extreme with my diet was not healthy for me. I also went through a few years of meticulously tracking my food and counting macros, but I'm trying to move away from that and learn to eat intuitively. I signed up for a local meal prep service and that's what I eat at most of my meals. It's super easy, the variety is great, and I don't have to do any of the work. It also costs a little less than when I was prepping my own food–which is nuts. I just wanted to share my thoughts.

    1. I was in dire need of this Whole 30 to reset myself. I've been having digestive issues and there are things that the Whole 30 eliminates that really have negatively affected my digestive system. I have to be careful because my grandmother had severe Crohn's disease, colitis and passed away last year of colon cancer. I like to think of myself as a very resilient person and so I don't pay attention when my body says no to something, and i think if I just keep having it my body will toughen up to it, but that's not how it works. Dairy has to be gone from my life for good. I have to be careful with raw veggies. Legumes are very hard for me to digest. Grains are ok but can cause me bloating and really fill me up.

    2. Ohhhh, i'm so sorry about your grandmother! If you havent tried cashew milk, i highly recommend it over any other milk alternative. It's creamy and satisfying and it's a bonus that its only 25 calories per cup. I use it to make pancakes and i've also used it as coffee creamer. it's not a good as the real thing, but I have a milk frother and it actually froths cashew milk pretty well. I ate paleo for several years but now I've added back rice and oatmeal which has helped me a lot with recovery. Since you are lifting a lot, you might want to keep an eye on your carb intake to help you out. I do pretty high level crossfit workouts, and those starchy carbs were really nice to have back in my life. If those aren't for you, try butternut squash, japanese sweet potatoes, acorn squash, or rutabagas! Good luck to you!

    3. I love Cashew Milk and have been making it at home. If I have any on hand I add in Macadamia nuts too. Sooo good! I find it way creamier and milk like than almond milk.

  15. This topic speaks to me. I get so confused on what to eat and what not to eat. I have been considering a whole30 because I have been experienced some digestive issues since July that I never had before. Reading through the whole 30 books makes me more confused and doubtful. On one hand the information is terrifying but on the other hand I have to cry out BS. Id love a nutritionist to break down all these diets. How can they all be right? Those that believe in paleo or those that believe in a plant based diet…they are so different. I too am loving the new design and have really loved reading the blog thru the years. I am happy you are able to transform and grow the blog. Really we come here because we all like you, your writing style, whit and charm. I still do really love all hundreds of my lulu things too. Also like the video of the lifts. I have been trying to learn to snatch and it psychs me out so bad. Thank you lulumum

  16. You are beautiful! And you have a great shape! And adding in your Crossfit workout pictures, honestly you look really strong. Dont let a number get you down! And I can honestly say having gone from 5ft4 185lbs to 123lbs that if you are used to always finding the flaws when looking in the mirror- you always will, regardless of how low you get that number on the scale.
    This is kind of my "passion" and I have a "project" to help with getting into a more positive mind set body image wise, if you want it, I can email it 🙂

    But focus on the things you love about you, what youre capable of, and don't ever let a number take away from who you are.

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