What If I Never PR Again?

pr board

I know the title of this post seems melodramatic – sit tight, I’ll get to my point.

I just finished up week 3 on following a structured eating plan.  I haven’t been perfect, but I’m pretty happy with my level of compliance so far.  However, I am really going to focus on flawless execution this coming week.

I mentioned in a prior post that I don’t really have a specific outcome goal.  Instead, I am focusing on the behaviors that I know performed consistently over time will eventually get me to where I want to be.  Although I have small indications of progress, they are subtle at best when looking at progress pictures side by side.  Granted, it has only been 3 weeks, which really isn’t much time at all, but patience is not something that comes easily to me, and some irrational part of my brain seems to expect a total physical transformation in that amount of time.

However, I was able to wear slacks to work this week that had been too tight to wear comfortably for quite some time now.  And I am starting to notice a little bit of shoulder definition returning.  And well, my boobs are getting smaller, which I am not happy about except for the fact it signals that I am in fact leaning out little by little.  I actually read a great article on Tabata times about this earlier this week – Women’s Only: Being Okay with “A.”

Anyway, back to the title of my post.  I had a random thought after finishing this morning’s partner WOD: What if I never PR’d ever again?  Would I still do CrossFit?  What if I never lost another ounce of fat?  Would I still eat the way that I eat now?

Even if it meant that I never hit another PR for the rest of my life, I think that I would still CrossFit.  Why?  I enjoy it (most of the time).  Throwing a barbell around is fun and makes me feel strong and powerful.  I like the intensity of it.  I don’t always enjoy the group aspect of it (other people watching me, especially when attempting max lifts, just makes me self-conscious), but overall, I don’t just show up at CrossFit to get better, I show up because it makes me feel good.

I think this important.  There is nothing wrong with being motivated by PR’s.  In fact, I wish more women had strength-related goals as opposed to appearance-related ones.  But there may be weeks or months in between PR’s for me, and I need something to sustain me during those lulls.  I would like PR’s to be icing on the cake, not the reason I show up day in and day out at CrossFit.

The question related to eating is more difficult to answer.  On the upside, I do like the food I am eating on my current nutrition plan.  I get to eat many of my favorite things, including bacon (all-natural, nitrite-free, of course), grass fed steak, cheese, avocado/guacamole, coconut oil, Ezekiel bread/cereal, sweet potatoes, heavy cream (in my coffee), almond milk, berries, and pineapple.  I don’t find myself having to choke down meals.  I really just feel so much better eating this way.    However…I really have an inner fat kid at heart.  I have a major sweet tooth, and can down pizza or burgers/fries like someone twice my size.  I also enjoy my wine and the perfect Saturday evening for me is hitting up a chill wine bar with a close friend and splitting a bottle over great conversation.  So, I think that even if I never got a single pound leaner than I am right now, I would still choose to eat the way I do right now 90% of the time.  I would just build in the occasional treat, whether that be a nice robust Malbec or some deep dish pizza.

I think answering these questions for myself reassured me that the approach I am taking toward achieving my goals is the right one.  Obviously, I will set new PR’s in the future, and I will continue to lean out as long as I remain compliant and consistent with my nutrition, but my motivation to continue doing what I’m doing is not exclusively tied to either of those outcomes.  During competition prep, on the other hand, my answers would have been very different.  There was no way in heck I would have done 70 minutes of steady state cardio 6-7 days per week if I didn’t have a figure competition around the corner.  Tilapia rarely makes an appearance in my diet when not preparing for a bikini competition.  I was only doing those things purely for a show – and if doing them didn’t produce the results I wanted in the amount of time I needed them to, there is no way I would have continued doing either of them.

Speaking of bikini competitions, I’ll admit that I have been contemplating doing another show this year.  I really have mixed feelings about it though, so I haven’t made up my mind yet.  More to come!

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