Working on the New Me

One day, I will lift this and feel the power!

That’s right! This time there is no slacking off, no procrastinating and no giving up. Three weeks ago I took the plunge and started following a fantastic weight lifting program called Stronglifts 5×5 in order to shatter my attitude towards myself and my lack of dedication to a fitness regime. The idea of this program is to do a variation of 5 lifting exercises every other day, 5 reps of each exercise and every set increases in weight by 5lbs – except deadlifts, which go up by 10lbs. For this program I am working on squats, bench, row, overhead press and deadlifts.

Start to current day
Start to current day (ignore weight at bottom – I haven’t been recording it yet!)

Three weeks ago I could vaguely managed to squat with just a lifting bar on my shoulders – the bar itself weighs 45 lbs. Yesterday I squatted 70 lbs and felt great! My overhead press is my best achievement though; I couldn’t lift the bar above my head without my husband helping me out – the weakest shoulders you’ve ever seen! Yesterday I lifted 50lbs above my head without any assistance and I felt unbelieveable. My husband just watched with a smile on his face as I owned the bar!

I am doing this program for many reasons: the first is to prove to myself that I can actually stick to a health regime and not wimp out of it because it’s hard. The second reason is to become a stronger person, both physically and mentally. I have always hated the way I looked and now I am sculpting a body I am happy with and that feeling alone is almost intoxicating.

Slowly, slowly, buildy muscley!
Slowly, slowly, buildy muscley!

During a therapy session a few weeks back I was asked what I thought of myself and I broke down in tears as I explained how much I disliked who I was and how I looked. I have zero confidence in myself to achieve anything in life and I am my own worst enemy. I was made to really look at myself and what I saw was not a very happy individual so I made the conscious decision to try and better myself, starting with my health. My target is to always progress, not perfect, because I don’t feel that is a realistic end goal. I just want to make myself happier and I honestly feel I am starting to get there, with the always positive help and guidance from my powerlifting powerhouse husband! Now his muscles are seriously impressive…

Women, Wives and Bitches

Well-Being at Chapters

We are women. We are Wives. We are girlfriends and we are, apparently, Bitches. This was the impression I was left with after ambling along the various sections of a local Chapters book store over the weekend. It’s a little habit I have; buy a Starbucks ‘Somethin-accino’ and casually walk up and down each aisle of books as I slurp my beverage. Sometimes I actually come across something that interests me and other times not so much but on this particular visit I paid more attention to the ‘Well-Being’ section and I was blown away by all the seemingly man-hating books out there!

Well-Being at ChaptersWe all know us women are way more emotional than men but I was still really surprised by the amount of books that seemed to belittle men in all shapes and forms. The titles also amazed me: “Toxic Men”, “WTF Are Men Thinking” and, a personal favourite, “Why Men Love/Marry Bitches”. Almost every single book I saw was written by a woman and it got me searching for the male equivalent of “Why Women Marry Assholes” but I couldn’t find any. If you look for something emotionally male related you will find title such as “The Way of the Superior Man”, “How to Hold Your Nuts” and “The Complete Gentleman; a Modern Man’s Guide to Chivalry”.  I was left with this impression – emotionally charged women want to absolutely destroy man whereas emotionally charged men want to better themselves to be better for women. Marriage Book?

Maybe this particular Chapters had a higher ratio of divorced, unlucky women who needed these books to help them through their dealings with particularly sleazy men but it was still an eye opener for me! Most of the books are really a comedic guideline of how a woman could act but I’ve seen an all-female book club go nuts over a particular book which I’m sure was written for a laugh but was taken very seriously. The title of this book escapes me as this scenario happened years ago while I was working as a server, but it was something along the lines of ‘why is your husband crap” and I do remember the wives going to town on how crappy their husbands were in general and how they weren’t behaving in a way these wives thought they should. It was the usual; anniversaries either forgotten or not given the attention they thought was deserved, birthdays not up to scratch, laundry dumped everywhere except the basket and so on and so forth.Usual behaviour from a man who probably worked his ass off to afford the ‘Ladies Lunches’ his wife had every week. Toxic Men, really?!

Is there really an invisible bar that men absolutely have to meet or were these women just being cold hearted bitches? I’d go with the letter assumption but that’s just my opinion! Not every woman feels like that and I’m sure there are men who feel their wives are crap but at which point did the receptors get switched off and automatic assumption switched on? And what is the bar set for women? 60 years ago women became housewives, the men went to work and were ruler of their homes whereas now we are semi-equal in responsibility yet apparently we are still stuck with the assumption of how a married couple should be.  We need to be ‘bitches’ to earn respect yet loving and compassionate to gain marriage prospects. Men feel threatened by powerful strong women yet don’t want a mousey housewife who won’t perform anything other than missionary. It’s all terribly complicated!